Nickel is used extensively in a range of alloys and for many industrial applications including electroplating, coinage, battery production and powder metallurgy. It is also a component of some corrosion resistant metals and alloys, such as Nichrome, Monel, Incoloy, Cupro-nickel, nickel silver and stainless steel. It is also a component of high-performance materials such as Shape Memory Alloys and Hydrogen storing alloys. It is a highly versatile metal and is very popular with the battery industry and is also used within many other applications, such as electromagnetic shielding and conductive coatings and pastes.
The most common way to produce nickel is through hydrogen reduction and the resulting powders are known as nickel-carbonyl. However, nickel can also be produced through electrowinning using dissolved nickel in an electric current passed through an electrolyte. This produces electrolytic nickel powders that are often dendritic and offer a complex morphology. Electrolytic nickel powders are used in a variety of industrial applications including alkaline batteries, atomic energy industry and some high-temperature and high-strength alloys such as cast iron and Incoloy. They are also used as a metal binder for sintering and in some high-performance materials such as nickel-cadmium batteries and nickel-metal-hydride batteries.
Type 255 nickel powder offers a chain-shaped three-dimensional morphology and is the industry standard for sintered electrodes in nickel batteries due to its controlled porosity. It can also be used in a number of electromagnetic shielding applications and as an additive in conductive polymers. The nickel content in these products is typically in the range of 99.8% to 99.9% and it is available in a wide range of sizes.