Application areas

The majority of industrial metallic nickel utilised in the industry is used in the manufacturing of stainless and acid-resistant steel. Nickel's excellent heat resistance is another factor making it an important raw material. Nickeliferous stainless steel is ubiquitous in our every-day life; it has hundreds of thousands different areas of application in several fields.

 

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Architecture and construction

Since its invention, stainless steel – and thus also nickel – has been used in architecture, buildings and in other construction purposes. To mention a few examples, many world-famous skyscrapers, bridges and monuments have withstood time partly thanks to nickel's characteristics.

 
 

Motor industry

The bodies of cars and motorbikes contain stainless steel that has a nickel content of 8 to 10 percent. Corrosion resistance is boosted using ZnNi galvanisation. Fuel manufacturing removes sulphur using nickel carbonate-based catalysts.

 
 

Food and drink

Stainless steel is widely used in the storage of foodstuffs. For example, milk and coffee are stored and transported in steel containers because of the requirements of their characteristics.

Nickel is used as the material of water piping systems. Taps are pre-coated with nickel sulphate and then cromated.

Nickel is also found in the foodstuffs themselves; it occurs naturally in vegetables, fruit and nuts.

 
 

Electronics

The circuit boards of electronic appliances are given a thin nickel sulphate coat.

 
 

Transport and traffic

The bodies of heavy-duty trucks, lorries, buses, railway wagons, airplanes and ships contain nickeliferous materials. Thanks to its excellent heat resistance, nickel is an important raw material for coating and surfacing work.

Similarly, liquids requiring low-temperature transport are stored and transported in nickeliferous containers.

 
 

Pulp and paper industry

Stainless steel and other nickel alloys are used widely in pulp and paper industry due to their excellent properties. Essential for the process are stainless materials and functionality.

 
 

Medicine

Hospital equipment, such as surgical and dental instruments and dental implants are often made of nickeliferous metal alloys.

 
 

Energy industry

The energy industry sector uses nickeliferous materials in many ways. Some of the applications are oil and petrol, fossil fuels, nuclear power, bio energy, wind, wave and tide energy as well as solar and ground heat energy.

 
 

Chemicals industry

Nickeliferous alloys are highly suitable for many uses in the chemicals industry. This sector, too, often requires materials to be resistant to heat and cold and to be stainless and pliant.

 
 

Other applications

High-quality steel cutlery, pots and pans, kitchen surfaces and other surfaces requiring a high standard of hygiene contain a significant amount of nickel. Glass industry uses nickel to tint clear glass.

Nickel hydroxide is used in the manufacturing of rechargeable batteries that are more environmentally friendly than disposable ones. Mobile phone NiCd and NiMH batteries, likewise, contain nickel hydroxide as the active ingredient, and the batteries of laptops and electric cars contain nickel.

Nickel sulphate is used to coat CD-, DVD- and hard discs.

Ammonium sulphate, a by-product of nickel production, is used as a raw material in the fertiliser industry.