Nickel Copper Alloy is also known as Cupronickel. It is essentially copper that consists nickel along with manganese and iron. The latter two elements are essentially strengthening elements. This alloy is silver in colour despite the fact that copper is present in it.
As we are discussing about the alloy, you may come to hear various names about it. Some of the names that people call it throughout the globe are cuivre blanc, white copper, Argentan Minargent, Alpacca, Alpaka, plata alemana, German silver, hotel silver, Chinese silver, and many more.
Uses in a Snapshot
Cupronickel has electrode potential and is seen to be highly resistant to seawater corrosion. When it comes to seawater, electrode potential of the concerned alloy gets adjusted to be neutral. That’s the reason why nickel copper alloy is mostly used for piping, marine hardware, condensers in seawater systems, and heat exchangers. Sometimes it has also been seen that the alloy is used in constructing hulls as well as crankshafts of premium tugboats. Other uses include use in propellers, working boats, fishing boats, and others. Another common use every person can relate to is the coins we use every day. These coins are made up of nickel-copper alloy and are silver coloured. In these alloys, the most typical mix include 75 per cent copper, 25 per cent nickel, and a bit of manganese. As we are saying that these alloys are used in modern day coins, it must also be said here that the coins prepared earlier were not entirely cupronickel. Rather they were true silver coins that were debased with this alloy.
What are its applications?
One of the most common uses of the alloy is in marine engineering. As it is resistant to corrosion created by sea water, usage in marine engineering is so prevalent. Other properties that increase their usage in marine applications are –
• Effectiveness in lowering the levels of macro fouling
There are generally alloy compositions of copper and nickel that are specified in heat exchangers. While one is 70 per cent copper and 30 per cent nickel, the other is 90 per cent copper and 10 per cent nickel. In fact, these specifications are also mentioned in case of condenser tubes and heat exchangers used marine purposes.
Most common and useful applications of nickel copper alloy are given below –
• When it comes to shipbuilding, this alloy is used prevalently. Some of the most common usages in repairing and manufacturing of ships include bilge and ballast, seawater cooling, inert gas, fire fighting, pneumatic chiller systems, hydraulic, sanitary, and many more.
• Another major usage is found in desalination plants. It is used in brine heaters, evaporator tubing, and heat rejection & recovery.
• They are use in fossil fuel power plants, high pressure pre-heaters at nuclear plants, auxiliary cooling systems, oil coolers, and steam turbine condensers. The common usages also are found in offshore oil and gas platforms too. Interestingly, Cupronickel is in FPSO vessels too.