Nickel is a lustrous, silvery-white metal discovered in 1751. It is attractive and very durable as a pure metal, and alloys readily with many other metals.
Nickel-containing materials play a major role in our everyday lives with it being used in over 300,000 consumer products - food preparation equipment, mobile phones, medical equipment, military, transport, aerospace, buildings, power generation - the list is almost endless. They are selected because - compared with other materials - they offer better corrosion resistance, better toughness, better strength at high and low temperatures, and a range of special magnetic and electronic properties.
Almost two thirds of total nickel production is used in stainless steels today and a further 20% in non-ferrous alloys and other steels.
According to the Nickel Institute the use of nickel continues to grow at, at least, 4% per year with the biggest growth in industrialising countries such as China and India.
Nickel is also a critical component in re-chargeable batteries found in cell phones and electric vehicles.
The Nickel Institute’s publication “Nickel in Society” outlines in the current use of nickel in much more detail. For instance, nickel uses factsheets: Nickel in cars, Nickel in aircraft, Nickel in mobile phones, Nickel in computers.