Solar farms are blooming in fields across the globe and producing a new crop: solar energy. Photovoltaic (PV) systems made up of solar panels, are fast becoming the most recognisable of renewable energy technologies.
Materials selection for any piece of equipment or a process system is rarely a simple task, unless you are exactly replicating something successful. Often engineers will have a checklist to help them narrow down the choices, eliminating groups of materials that are not suitable for various reasons. Austenitic 300 series stainless steels containing 7-35% nickel will have most if not all of the boxes checked for being suitable where a stainless steel is desired.
The sudden failure of a building or bridge is mercifully a rare event, thanks largely to international or national standards: structures are designed in accordance with a design standard, using products conforming to a product standard and manufactured using techniques and to a quality level defined in a construction standard.
What is a “sustainable product”? Is it more sustainable to continue using my old washing machine or to buy a new, more energy efficient one? Are single use products always unsustainable? What criteria should I use to judge whether a product is sustainable or not? What measures can we take to promote sustainability in products?
Each family of stainless steels has its strengths and weaknesses. Ferritic stainless steels have useful properties – a lower rate of thermal expansion, higher thermal conductivity, strong ferromagnetism and very high resistance to chloride stress corrosion cracking (SCC). When looking at selecting any alloys, it is important to consider all the factors for successful usage.
The duplex alloys are “problem-solving alloys” for good reason, they have been successfully used in many places where carbon steels and standard austenitic alloys have failed. Just like with the austenitic family, there are many different duplex alloys to choose from, with corrosion resistance varying from moderate with the lean duplex alloys to very high with the superduplex alloys.
The Nickel Institute has published specific guidance for nickel producers to help them calculate their greenhouse gas emissions. This guidance takes into account the complexity of nickel production and will contribute to scientifically robust and reliable data that is comparable throughout the entire industry. The author of the Guidelines, Dr. Mark Mistry explains.
The selection of an alloy should be guided by careful examination of the needs of the application. Before making a switch, it’s important to fully investigate an alloy’s strengths, weaknesses and applicability to your structure.
Batteries, notably those used in electric vehicles, play an essential role in the plans of the European Commission to deliver the EU Green Deal. They are considered as a critical and strategic technology to achieve Europe´s ambitious climate change mitigation targets and to move towards green and sustainable mobility.
The proposed Regulation will introduce a wide range of sustainability requirements and promote the recycling of key battery raw materials like nickel. EU legislative work is entering a crucial phase.
Think of the largest cruise ship. Then imagine how much it weighs – just over 100,000 tonnes, in fact. Now think about 500 of those ships, and what they weigh. That is the staggering amount of new electronic waste that we generate every year.
Major economies across the globe are setting climate neutrality targets. But proper measurement and methodologies are needed to provide transparency and common benchmarks when assessing carbon footprint. At a recent event in China, there was general consensus on the importance of adopting a harmonized approach to carbon footprint calculation and disclosure.
More than ten years on from the implementation of the EU’s REACH regulation, NiPERA’s Tara Lyons-Darden looks back and shares some of the learnings and the challenges of maintaining REACH dossiers from the perspective of the Nickel REACH Consortia.
While it may require an initial higher investment when compared with other materials, stainless steel’s unique properties deliver long-term performance and economic benefits including minimum downtime, reduced maintenance costs and reduced environmental impacts.
As delegates to the UN COP26 Climate Change conference in Glasgow grapple with the climate crisis, clean energy solutions will be in focus. Although clean energy technologies rely on metals and minerals that are unavoidably energy intensive to produce, the IEA says that the climate advantages of these technologies remain clear.
Even small quantities of nickel in an application can make a big difference to successful deployment.
Nickel-based alloys and nickel-containing stainless are playing key roles in an emerging source of renewable energy known as thermal solar plants or concentrated solar power (CSP). Their use has enabled the industry to overcome challenges in heat transfer and thermal storage technology.
Geothermal energy for electric power production has a low profile yet is significant in the current and potential energy mix for a number of countries. It has also been described as the most reliable of the renewable energy sources, above weather-dependent wind, solar and hydropower.
The upstream and midstream oil and gas industries rely on nickel-containing corrosion resistant alloys for flowlines and risers. Rodrigo Signorelli, Outokumpu’s lead technical manager for marine and energy, explains how alloys reach the market.
The many new and innovative applications of hydrogen as fuel show great promise for a greener future.
Dr. Ilias Belharouak is the head of electrification and energy storage at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In this Battery Chat, he talks to Parri Adeli about the various energy storage topics his group are investigating including a new class of cathodes that they developed recently and its scale-up path.
A new generation of designers, materials specifiers, architects and engineers is being introduced to the wealth of technical information curated by the Nickel Institute. An archive of technical guides and know-how for working with nickel-containing materials, including stainless steel, that has been built over thirty years is now being updated and made freely available.
If you’re like me and predictive text has led to some awkward if not amusing moments, you might be sceptical about Artificial Intelligence (AI). But its achievements are already overwhelming and changing, even protecting, our lives in many sectors.
New advances in the use of Artificial Intelligence have the potential to speed up the process of alloy development.
The short answer is: yes, nickel can be a sustainable material throughout the entire value chain, from mining, manufacturing, to use and end of life – if all actors throughout the value chain step up and take their responsibility. Now let's look at the longer answer...
When Courtney Love wrote this she was not thinking about rockets. It is, however, a perfect description of the history of rocketry. Until the Elon Musk revolution.
New energy legislation is set to optimize China’s energy structure and boost the use of non-fossil energy. Aligning with China’s regulatory agenda, nickel will play a vital role in tomorrow’s world powered by cleaner energy.
Space is hard but nickel makes it possible. The United States of America, through the private company SpaceX, imminently expects to regain its independent way into space.
Food safety starts with rigorous hygiene, and nickel-containing stainless steels are the superior, reliable standard at every link of the food chain.
Around two-thirds of today’s buildings will still be around in 2050, and by 2060, the world is projected to add 230 billion m² of buildings - an area equivalent to the entire current global building stock. What can the building and construction sector do to reduce the environmental burden of buildings?
Ever-tightening sulphur oxide (SOx) emission regulations are increasing the use of marine scrubbers globally. Scrubbers operate in a highly corrosive environment and require the resilience of nickel-containing alloys to prevent failure.
European nickel producers need a consistent regulatory framework. There must be coherence between different EU policy objectives with rules based on principles of sound science, risk-based approaches, full life-cycle thinking and impact assessments.
Most nickel production is destined for stainless steel. But a significant 8% is used in the production of alloy steels which are needed to deliver specific characteristics for specialised and often critical applications.
Partially corrugated stainless steel service pipes have reduced water leakage rates drastically in Tokyo where they were introduced in the 1980s. Now other innovative water authorities faced with the urgent need to reduce water loss are also examining the nickel-containing stainless steel solution.
Should we be worried about there being enough nickel to supply the transition to electric vehicles and cleaner energy sources? Given its wide range of uses in important existing and emerging technologies, this is a frequently asked question.