Is Nickel an Important Component for the Stainless Steel Industry? Insights from NKS Stainless Steel Slitting Company in Santa Clara, California

Stainless steel slitting company in Santa Clara, California


Nickel (abbreviated as Ni) is a solid white metal that is virtually usable in everything. From remote control batteries to medical equipment to kitchenware, nickel is a key element that most industries cannot do without.

In the stainless steel industry, nickel provides the necessary strength to its parent alloy. As the top-rated stainless steel slitting company in Santa Clara, California, the experts at NKS are going to share their insights on how nickel has become a significant component in the stainless steel industry today.

The Importance of Nickel in the Stainless Steel Industry

Nickel was discovered in the 1700s. It was originally known as kupfernickel, or copper-nickel. Found in rocks that look like copper ore, miners believed nickel to have no use in future applications. Little did they know that nickel would become one of the most used metals in industries today.

As any reputable stainless steel slitting company in Santa Clara, California can tell you

 more than two-thirds of the global nickel production goes into making stainless steel. It is present in all types of stainless steel products in varying quantities. However, nickel is most prominent in the 300 series stainless steel products, especially in grade 302, grade 304, and grade 316. 

Nickel is ductile, malleable, high in strength, and corrosion resistant. It conducts heat and electricity well, and it can withstand cryogenic circumstances. Where chromium leads to ferromagnetism in some applications, nickel helps eliminate these undesirable concerns. It further imparts formability, toughness, and sustainability to stainless steel. Nickel supplies these properties to stainless steel by transforming its crystal structure into the austenitic structure.


The addition of higher nickel amounts makes stainless steel suitable for performing deep-drawing operations. Using appropriate quantities also diminishes the risk of work hardening and cold cracking tendencies.


Nickel in stainless steel improves its hot strength working, allowing it to have greater flexibility at higher temperatures. These types of steels are easy to weld and shape, and they can sustain even the most intense impact tests.


The addition of nickel in stainless steel makes it a versatile metal. Compared to non-nickel-containing stainless steel, the types that contain nickel are well suited for a wide variety of applications, including healthcare, household, and chemical uses. 


Adding nickel to the composition of stainless steel provides it with better stability against mechanical stress. As an austenite stabilizer, nickel refines the grain size and prevents the oxidation of stainless steel at elevated temperatures.


Nickel doesn’t just have economic and technical benefits but also offers environmental advantages. Its eco-friendly properties make it a highly recyclable metal. Stainless steel slitting suppliers in Santa Clara, California can save significantly by producing steel from scrap rather than from pure constituent materials. The process is highly energy-efficient, and it makes stainless steel durable, user-friendly, and versatile.

Looking for the Top-Rated Stainless Steel Slitting Company in Santa Clara, California?

What makes 300 series stainless steel corrosion-resistant? Nickel. There’s an old saying that goes like this: what makes food taste good is a pickle, and what makes stainless steel test good is nickel. Indeed, chromium makes stainless steel stainless, but nickel enhances its resistance to corrosion at higher temperatures.

As the premier stainless steel slitting company in Santa Clara, California, we offer a wide variety of steel products — including 300 and 400 series stainless steel, as well as aluminum. If you would like to learn more about our stainless steel slitting capabilities, do not hesitate to contact the metallurgists at NKS. Contact us at 1800-722-5029 to get started.