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Nickel - Properties, Fabrication and Applications of Commercially Pure Nickel

Chemical Formula


Topics Covered


Corrosion Resistance

Properties of Commercially Pure Nickel

Fabrication of Nickel

Nickel in Chromium Plating


Commercially pure or low alloy nickel finds its main application in chemical processing and electronics.

Corrosion Resistance

Because of pure nickel's corrosion resistance, particularly to various reducing chemicals and especially to caustic alkalis, nickel is used to maintain product quality in many chemical reactions, particularly the processing of foods and synthetic fibre manufacture.

Properties of Commercially Pure Nickel

Compared to nickel alloys, commercially pure nickel has high electrical conductivity, a high Curie temperature and good magnetostrictive properties. Nickel is used for electronic lead wires, battery components, thyratrons and sparking electrodes.

Nickel also has good thermal conductivity. This means it can be used for heat exchangers in corrosive environments.

Table 1. Properties of Nickel 200, the commercially pure grade (99.6% Ni).



Annealed Tensile Strength at 20C


Annealed 0.2% Proof Stress at 20C


Elongation (%)




Melting Range


Specific Heat

456 J/kg. C

Curie Temperature


Relative Permeability






Co-Efficient if Expansion (20-100C)


Thermal Conductivity


Electrical Resistivity


Fabrication of Nickel

Annealed nickel has a low hardness and good ductility. Nickel, like gold, silver and copper, has a relatively low work hardening rate, i.e. it does not tend to become as hard and brittle when it is bent or otherwise deformed as do most other metals. These attributes, combined with good weldability, make the metal easy to fabricate into finished items.

Nickel in Chromium Plating

Nickel is also frequently used as an undercoat in decorative chromium plating. The raw product, such as a brass or zinc casting or a sheet steel pressing is first plated with a layer of nickel approximately 20m thick. This gives it its corrosion resistance. The final coat is a very thin 'flash' (1-2m) of chromium to give it a colour and tarnish resistance that is generally regarded as more desirable in plated ware. Chromium alone would have unacceptable corrosion resistance because of the generally porous nature of chromium electroplate.

Property Table

Material Nickel - Properties, Fabrication and Applications of Commercially Pure Nickel
Composition:  >99%Ni or better

Property Minimum Value (S.I.) Maximum Value (S.I.) Units (S.I.) Minimum Value (Imp.) Maximum Value (Imp.) Units (Imp.)
Atomic Volume (average)0.0065 0.0067 m3/kmol 396.654 408.859 in3/kmol
Density8.83 8.95 Mg/m3 551.239 558.731 lb/ft3
Energy Content230 690 MJ/kg 24917.9 74753.7 kcal/lb
Bulk Modulus162 200 GPa 23.4961 29.0075 106 psi
Compressive Strength70 935 MPa 10.1526 135.61 ksi
Ductility0.02 0.6   0.02 0.6  
Elastic Limit70 935 MPa 10.1526 135.61 ksi
Endurance Limit135 500 MPa 19.5801 72.5188 ksi
Fracture Toughness100 150 MPa.m1/2 91.0047 136.507 ksi.in1/2
Hardness800 3000 MPa 116.03 435.113 ksi
Loss Coefficient0.0002 0.0032   0.0002 0.0032  
Modulus of Rupture70 935 MPa 10.1526 135.61 ksi
Poisson's Ratio0.305 0.315   0.305 0.315  
Shear Modulus72 86 GPa 10.4427 12.4732 106 psi
Tensile Strength345 1000 MPa 50.038 145.038 ksi
Young's Modulus190 220 GPa 27.5572 31.9083 106 psi
Glass Temperature    K     F
Latent Heat of Fusion280 310 kJ/kg 120.378 133.275 BTU/lb
Maximum Service Temperature510 640 K 458.33 692.33 F
Melting Point1708 1739 K 2614.73 2670.53 F
Minimum Service Temperature0 0 K -459.67 -459.67 F
Specific Heat452 460 J/kg.K 0.349784 0.355975 BTU/lb.F
Thermal Conductivity67 91 W/m.K 125.426 170.355 BTU.ft/h.ft2.F
Thermal Expansion12 13.5 10-6/K 21.6 24.3 10-6/F
Breakdown Potential    MV/m     V/mil
Dielectric Constant           
Resistivity8 10 10-8 ohm.m 8 10 10-8 ohm.m

Environmental Properties
Resistance Factors
1=Poor 5=Excellent
Fresh Water5
Organic Solvents5
Oxidation at 500C5
Sea Water5
Strong Acid4
Strong Alkalis5
Weak Acid5
Weak Alkalis5