Nickel is a silver-white metal which occurs mainly in the sulphide and arsenic ores. It is extracted by roasting to NiO and then reducing using carbon. Pure nickel is manufactured by the Mond process, in which impure nickel is reacted with carbon monoxide (CO) to produce Ni(CO)4, which is then decomposed at 200°C to yield 99.99% Ni. Pure nickel is malleable and ductile, and is resistant to corrosion in air or water, and hence is used as a protective coating. It is readily soluble in dilute acids, but is unaffected by alkalis.

As an alloying element it increases the strength, toughness, and wear and corrosion resistance of steels. Applications for nickel include its use as a constituent of various alloy types; for example, Nichrome (an alloy used for resistance heating elements), Monel (corrosion resistant material), Permalloy (an alloy with high magnetic permeability at low field strength and low hysteresis loss), stainless steel, cupro-nickel, nickel silver, etc. It is also used in coinage, as a protective coating and within food and chemical handling plants. Nickel is classed as a carcinogen and is also an allergen to some individuals. It is found in many dietary constituents and, as such, is difficult to avoid. Named by the copper miners of Westphalia the 'kupfer-nickel' or false copper.


Axel-Fredrik Cronstedt in 1751 in Stockholm, Sweden.

80 ppm in the earth’s crust.

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Atomic number 28 Clip
Atomic / Molecular Weight 58.69 gmol-1Clip
Density 8907 kgm-3Clip
Crystal Structure fcc Clip
Lattice constant 352 fmClip
Melting Point 1728 KClip
Boiling Point 3173 KClip
Youngs modulus 210000000000 Nm-2Clip
Poissons ratio 0.31 Clip
Linear expansivity 0.0000134 K-1Clip
Specific heat capacity 439 Jkg-1K-1Clip
Latent heat of fusion 234000 Jkg-1Clip
Thermal conductivity 59 to 94 Wm-1K-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (longitudinal bulk waves) 5608 to 5814 ms-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (Irrotational waves) 4787 to 4974 ms-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (Shear waves) 2929 to 3078 ms-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (Rayleigh waves) 2722 to 2857 ms-1Clip
Bulk Modulus of Rigidity 177.3e9 (soft) 187.6e9 (hard) Nm-2Clip
Electromotive Series 0.25 VClip
Curie Temperature 629 KClip
Electrical Conductivity 14300000 Sm-1Clip
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See also: Electroless Nickel Plating, Nickel Plating, Nickel Silver, Nonferrous, Periodic Table.

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Subjects: Chemistry

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