Stainless Steel, an Essential Material for Our Daily Lives
Stainless steel is by far the world's leading nickel-consuming industrial sector (65% of world consumption in 2011) and is the Nickel division's largest market. This material has excellent antibacterial properties and is now essential in our daily lives.
We come across it in many forms:
- household equipment such as sinks, cutlery, saucepans, dishes;
- household appliances such as washing machines, microwave ovens, restaurant kitchens;
- production equipment in the food-processing and pharmaceutical industries;
- surgical equipment.
Furthermore, it is precisely for these hygienic properties that the use of stainless steel is often required by legislation in developed countries. Other advantages of stainless steel include its appearance, low maintenance costs and long service life.
The construction market uses it both for decoration and for building accessories, to make lifts, ramps and sidewalk furniture, including benches and tables. Stainless steel is also used in:
- basic industries such as chemicals, petrochemicals, paper and energy production;
- transport for: tanker trucks, catalytic converters for cars, coachwork and interior fittings for trains.
80% of the stainless steel is recycled after a lifespan of 25 years. The centennial of its invention was celebrated in 2012.
SLN® 25 shot was created by ERAMET to respond to the needs of its stainless-steel-producing customers.
Superalloys and high performance nickel-based alloys for high-tech markets
Superalloys and high-performance nickel-based alloys (>50% nickel) answer the requirements of high-tech industries in constant search for performance, such as the aerospace, nuclear, oil and gas industries. Nickel-based superalloys and high-performance alloys have excellent mechanical resistance, together with good resistance to corrosion, oxidation and distortion in extreme temperature conditions.
Nickel is one of the three main components in the composition of the coatings of articles undergoing electrolytic surface treatment, the two other constituents being copper and chromium. Nickel is used to establish the connection between the surface of the article to be coated and the chrome coating. It also improves the resistance to corrosion. This process of electroplating is very widely applied in the car industry, for household equipment (taps, furniture etc.), in pipes, etc.
ERAMET offers a complete range of high-purity products corresponding to the strictest requirements of specialists in the electrolytic treatment of surfaces: nickel chloride hexahydrate through its brand SELNIC®, high-purity metal in various product forms under the brand name NICKEL HP®, and nickel carbonate through its brands NICKEL OneTM 40 and NICKEL OneTM 48.
Nickel is used as a precursor for the production of catalysts in the production of chemical products, polyamides, petrochemical products and in the food-processing industry.
ERAMET offers a complete range of high-purity products corresponding to the strictest requirements of the catalyst market: nickel carbonate (NICKEL OneTM 40 and NICKEL OneTM 48), nickel chloride in solution and as hexahydrate (SELNIC®), high-purity metal (NICKEL HP®) and cobalt chloride.
Nickel is used in various sectors of the electronics industry:
- Nickel is one of the basic elements in multilayer ceramic condensers, which need to meet continual technological challenges to feed both existing and future electronic devices such as personal computers, cell phones, smartphones, tablets, etc.
- Nickel is also an essential element used in different types of rechargeable batteries, in the form of nickel cadmium cells (NiCd) and nickel-metal Hydride batteries (NiMH), together with the very latest generation of lithium-ion batteries. Rechargeable Li-ion batteries containing nickel are widely used today in portable electronic devices and will be equally widely used in tomorrow’s world in the automotive industry to accompany the development of hybrid and electric vehicles.
In pigments for ceramics, enamels and glass, the colors yellow, green and black are generally obtained thanks to the introduction of nickel into the formulas concerned. Cobalt is also widely used in this field, and has famously given rise to the color "cobalt blue".
Municipal and industrial treatment plants for waste water use ferric chloride as a coagulant for the process of precipitation of phosphates and for the conditioning of sludge.
To combat anemia in both animals and man, ferric chloride, after undergoing initial transformation, forms part of the make-up of an active complex introduced into a range of medicines.