Nickel silver alloys consist of admixtures of copper alloys with zinc and nickel in varying amounts. Classified as electronic grade alloys, these metals display features that make them highly desirable for manufacturing purposes. Their attributes typically include: excellent mechanical properties, high thermal and electrical conductivity, resistance to corrosion, a pleasing silvery color, and ease of fabrication.
The composition of nickel silver alloys can vary, but they usually contain 10% to 25% nickel, 17% to 40% zinc, and the rest is copper. Industrial applications typically won’t exceed 18% nickel, however. From the composition, it is obvious that nickel silver alloys don’t contain any silver. They are referred to as nickel silvers because of their appealing silvery colors, and not due to actual silver content.
Bunty LLC supplies high quality nickel silver alloys as castings, forgings, and extrusions. The choice of the manufacturing process will vary depending on the required specifications of a particular metal part. Nickel silver parts can also be wrought, cast, machined, drawn, stamped or rolled and they typically accept both electroplating techniques and common joining processes including welding, brazing, and soldering.
Nickel silver alloys possess properties that attract considerable interest and make these alloys valuable for industrial and manufacturing purposes. These properties include hardness, malleability, ductility, and non-magnetic qualities.
At moderately lowered or elevated temperatures, nickel silvers tend to retain good mechanical properties. They also display very good resistance to corrosive environments in marine, industrial, and outdoor settings, especially after electroplating. The white, silvery color of these alloys enables them to display aesthetically pleasing exteriors. Most nickel silver alloys will also accept high polish.
Some of the properties of nickel silvers can be changed by modifying the proportions of the metals contributing to the alloy. This step depends to a great extent upon the desired uses for the metal parts made from nickel silver alloys. For example, 1% to 2% of lead can be added to enhance machine workability of the alloy. Increasing the percentage of copper tends to improve ductility and may enhance the suitability of an alloy for use in wiring, for instance. Adding nickel enhances strength and intensifies the silvery color of the metal. This process may enable a metal part to perform more effectively as a decorative item in some situations. By including a higher percentage of zinc, the melting point of the alloy can be lowered and its hardness increased, although typically ductility will decline as zinc levels in the alloy rise.
Nickel silver alloys hold numerous applications in today’s dynamic marketplace. The notable diversity of these metals, their unique aesthetic qualities, and their wide range of useful physical and mechanical properties have prompted numerous manufacturers to rely extensively on nickel silver parts. Nickel silvers are a great choice for applications that require strength, heavy wear, corrosion resistance, the ability to withstand machining, and an attractive appearance.
Today, nickel silver alloys are used in a number of vital industrial sectors. Some popular applications include general and mechanical engineering products, food manufacturing equipment, electronic parts, and aesthetic building components.
Engineering applications: Highly specialized nickel silver alloys perform important roles in the oil, gas, and mining industries. Rods and plates composed of nickel silvers often function as wear-resistant components in deep hole drilling assemblies.
Food industry applications: Both dairy and food equipment manufacturers rely extensively upon nickel silver fittings, rivets, slide fasteners and screws.
Electronic applications: Due to their good electrical resistance, nickel silvers are frequently used in fuel cells, battery casings, anodes, and lead wires.
Architectural applications: The good corrosion resistance of most nickel silvers and their widespread availability in the form of strips, sheets or specific sectional dimensions enables these alloys to perform a wide range of decorative functions in modern buildings. For instance, nickel silver extrusions are often used as elevator sills and other aesthetic architectural components, stylish panels, hand rails, weather strips, and trim items.
Other widespread uses: Nickel silver alloys play a vital role in a variety of other settings as well. For instance, they are used for manufacturing optical components for binoculars and cameras, as well as pinions and gears in some clocks and instrumentation assemblies.
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