Cupro-nickel (copper-nickel) is an alloy of copper as the base metal, nickel as a minor or minor component (Cu + Ni) and solid elements such as iron and manganese. Another similar copper alloy is cuproaluminium. The copper content usually ranges from 60 to 90 % (the metal called monel is a nickel-copper alloy containing at least 52 % nickel). Even with a high copper content, cupro-nickel is silvery in colour.
There are different variants of this alloy, the most typical being 90/10 (90 % copper, 10 % nickel) and 70/30 (70 % copper, 30 % nickel). The 70/30 alloy has the same characteristics as 90/10, but also offers excellent corrosion resistance at high seawater velocities and in higher temperature ranges. This heavy non-ferrous metal does not corrode in seawater, as its electronegative potential is neutral with respect to seawater, which is its main characteristic.
It is used for piping, heat exchangers, distillation apparatus and condensers in seawater systems, as well as for various marine applications because of its corrosion resistance. It is also sometimes used to manufacture propellers, crankshafts and hulls for high-quality ships and fishing boats, among others. Other uses include the manufacture of military equipment and for chemical, petrochemical and electrical plants.
Another common modern use for cupro-nickel is silver-coloured coins. For this use, the typical alloy has a copper to nickel ratio of 3:1, with very small amounts of manganese. In the past, real silver coins were debased with cupro-nickel.
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