Nickel and it’s Link to Stainless Steel
The production of stainless steel is heavily dependent upon the nickel market. Not only does it affect production but also nickel affects the pricing of stainless steel. Throughout the world two thirds of all nickel which is mined actually will be made into stainless steel.
Nickel was not a metal which was valued at much when it was discovered in 1751. It wasn’t until 1820 when Mr Michael Faraday found that adding nickel actually managed to strengthen iron. Then in 1885 nickel steel was produced and this was used within the U.S military and formed superior weaponry.
Since then Nickel has been an extremely important metal within stainless steel for a number of reasons. As mentioned adding nickel actually manages to strengthen the steel, when the steel has low carbon content. This is ideal for applications such as building and construction. Furthermore nickel adds to the formability and corrosion resistance whether this is stainless steel plate, stainless steel banding, stainless steel blanks or any other stainless steel product. As well as increased formability Nickel also increases the heat resistance of the steel.
Nickel can easily resist rust which is why it has been heavily used within the production of stainless steel. In the US they actually manage to use 42% of their totally produced nickel within their stainless steel products!
As an alloy with stainless steel, nickel increases the density and hardness of the material making the overall hardness increased. This means that due to its hardness the stainless steel can be sharpened and can remain sharp for some time. An example of this is when stainless steel is applied medically. Stainless steel is used within surgical equipment such as surgical knifes used to cut a patient open – it doesn’t bear thinking about if they were blunt!
BS Stainless currently is an independent supplier of a whole range of stainless steel products. Not only do we supply local and nationally but we also export stainless steel to the majority of continents inclusive of the Americas, Asia, Europe and Australia.