Nickel could be called something of a universal ally to other materials–or perhaps, more appropriately, an alloy, as it is primarily used for the alloys it forms with other metals. Rarely found alone, nickel is silvery-white, ductile and hard. It makes up part of coins, tools and many stainless steel items, and sometimes it is even added to household items, such as ceramics, magnets and batteries. Because of its useful characteristics and partnering properties, you may find it in everything from electric guitar strings to glass (which, incidentally, develops a green tint from the addition of the metal).
But what makes nickel an excellent alloying agent? And what are the properties that make it such a great partner to other materials? For one, it’s resistant characteristics, which we’ll take a look at below.