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|Atomic Number:||28||Atomic Symbol:||Ni|
|Atomic Weight:||58.70||Electron Configuration:||2-8-16-2|
|Melting Point:||1453oC||Boiling Point:||2732oC|
|Uses:||currency coins, electroplating, metal alloys, batteries|
History(German Nickel, Satan or Old Nick's and from kupfernickel, Old
Nick's copper). Axel Cronstedt of Sweden discovered nickel in 1751 in
SourcesNickel is found as a constitutent in most meterorites and often
serves as one of the criteria for distinguishing a meteorite from other
minerals. Iron meteorites, or siderites, may contain iron
alloyed with from 5 percent to nearly 20 percent nickel. Nickel is obtained
commercially from pentlandite and pyrrhotite of the Sudbury region of Ontario, a
district that produces about 30 percent of the nickel for the Free World.
Other deposits are found in New Caledonia, Australia, Cuba, Indonesia, and
PropertiesNickel is silvery white and takes on a high polish. It is
hard, malleable, ductile, somewhat ferromagnetic, and a fair conductor of heat
and electricity. It belongs to the iron-cobalt group of metals and is chiefly
valuable for the alloys it forms.
It is extensively used for making stainless steel and other
corrrosion-resistant alloys such as Invar(R), Monel(R), Inconel(R), and the
Hastelloys(R). Tubing made of copper-nickel alloy is extensively used in making
desalination plants for converting sea water into fresh water.
Nickel, used extensively to make coins and nickel steel for armor plates and
burglar-proof vaults, and is also a component in Nichrome(R), Permalloy(R), and
Nickel gives glass a greenish color. Nickel plating is often used to provide
a protective coating for other metals, and finely divided nickel is a catalyst
for hydrogenating vegetable oils. It is also used in ceramics, in the
manufacture of Alnico magnets, and in the Edison(R) storage battery.
IsotopesThe sulfate and the oxides are important compounds. Natural
nickel is a mixture of five stable isotopes; nine other unstable isotopes are
HandlingExposure to nickel metal and soluble compounds (as Ni) should
not exceed 0.05 mg/cm3 (8-hour time-weighted average - 40-hour work
week). Nickel sulfide fume and dust is recognized as being potentially