The periodic table of elements is full of interesting, and almost fantasy-esque, facts. Most of the elements are actually metals, with each of them having some fascinating compositions. Some of them are named after famous figures in our collective history. Thorium, as you can probably guess, was named after the Norse god of thunder, Thor.
Other metals, such as nickel, are more standard by design. However, the properties comprising nickel are still as intriguing as ever. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll realize that the physical characteristics have a thorough history.
Like all other metallic and non-metallic elements, nickel has a myriad of fascinating properties. When investigating its physical characteristics, however, you’ll soon realize how intricate it can be. That is why nickel has become one of the most prominent metals used in manufacturing operations, especially among United States nickel projects. Its ability to work well with other elements is truly astounding in so many unique ways.
Check out these eight physical properties of nickel, each described in better detail.
1. Color of Nickel
If you take a look at the nickel coin in a country such as Canada, you would think that the colour is silver. In its most raw form, nickel is actually silvery-white. The metal also radiates a natural yellow, and sometimes whitish, hue, further differentiating it from its counterparts. This gives it a warm contrast, used in the production of home appliances such as sink faucets.
2. Physical Configuration of Nickel
Some metals in the periodic table of elements stand out amongst their peers, because of configuration. As such, it is important to first discuss the different states that metals, like nickel, undergo. Chemical properties differ from physical ones due to its reaction with other substances.
This means that it can essentially change from one substance to another under the right conditions. Physical properties, on the other hand, refer to the aspects of the metal that can be directly observed. These features don’t have to undergo a change; we use our five senses to perceive them directly!
Many elements on the periodic table, metallic or otherwise, can appear in different forms. Some can react to other substances and become a gas, while others can eventually configure themselves into liquids. For all intents and purposes, however, nickel is purely a physical solid state.
One interesting fact to know about the solid state of the metal is its friendliness towards mixing. Despite its apparent solidness, it can also be used to remake unsaturated compounds into additional solids! This process is commonly used in oils, and various types of soaps.
3. Conductivity of Nickel
Another physical property of metal is that it can transmit energy without issue. Moreover, there are various types of conductivity, ranging from an electrical variant, to a thermal one. As it pertains to the former, nickel is one of the best metals for conductivity in the periodic table.
Even though it isn’t as high up in conductivity as silver, the electrons inside are still susceptible to movement. In fact, nickel is a much better conductor of electricity than other well-known metals, such as bronze.
4. Flexibility of Nickel
Despite the solid shape in its rawest form, you’d be surprised at just how malleable nickel is. Many operations that involve forging, often resort to the metal because of this reason. Therefore, it can rolled out like dough, or shaped and bent at will, if one needs it to be.
5. Ductility of Nickel
Similar in vein to the physical property of malleability, nickel is also known to be extremely ductile. This means that it can be beaten into extremely thin sheets for a desired result. Or, manufacturers of the metal can also elongate it, even if pushed to its apparent limits. There is virtually no pressure exuded from the metal during the procedure either.
6. Hardness of Nickel
Whenever the definition of metal pops into one’s head, there are a few physical properties that come to mind. Lustre, in addition to physical state, are a few examples. However, the hardness of the metal in question is probably the most immediate thought. By and large, most metals are rigid by composition.
By using the Mohs scale, metals can be ranked in order of hardness. Nickel, as it turns out, is one of the toughest metals in the entire periodic table of elements. In fact, it is acknowledged to be harder than some of its counterparts, such as iron and steel. Nickel is also much more harder than titanium, believe it or not!
7. Ferromagnetic Property of Nickel
Nickel is regarded as one of the most ferromagnetic metals, when compared to its peers. This means that it can be both attracted to metals, as well as be magnetized itself. In its original state, it may actually be able to conjoin magnetic materials together. When it is processed to make coins, however, the potential for this decreases.