Now that you have found out who discovered nickel, let’s look at some of the more common uses of nickel in the world today.
Uses of Nickel
- Nickel is used in many products some of you may use everyday including electric guitar strings, magnets and rechargeable batteries. The magnetic properties of nickel actually make it very important for use in computer hard drives.
- Nickel is added to a very important metal alloy- stainless steel. Stainless steel has numerous applications. It is used in cookware, cutlery, kitchen appliances, hardware, surgical instruments, storage tanks, firearms, car headlights, jewelery and watches.
- Various bronzes and brasses are made using nickel alloyed with other metals. Heat and electrical resistant alloys can also be made from nickel.
- Nickel is also added to superalloys. To find out more about these types of alloys see the post uses of cobalt.
- Nickel is still used in many parts of the world in coins. The American nickel (worth 5 cents) is actually 75% copper and 25% nickel.
- Nickel foam or nickel mesh is used in alkaline fuel cells as part of the gas diffusion electrodes.
- Nickel is used in a process known as fire assay. This process helps identify the types of compounds in an ore, metal or alloy. Nickel is able to collect all the platinum group elements in this process. It also partially collects gold.
- In the science laboratory, nickel is typically used as a catalyst for a hydrogenation reaction.