Copper nickel, also known as Cupronickel is an alloy of metals copper and nickel. As the name suggests, copper (85 % – 90%) forms majority of the alloy followed by nickel (9% - 11%) along with trace minerals like Ferrous or Iron (1% - 2%) and Manganese (0.3% - 1%). Copper Nickel alloy can also be formed in the 70/30 percent by adjusting the metal content accordingly. Here we have mentioned useful information to check the difference between copper nickel and stainless steel alloys. Compare Copper Nickel Vs Stainless Steel in terms of composition, machinability, specifications, properties, price difference and uses.
Stainless steel is a Steel alloy with the addition of metals like chromium, carbon, silicon, nickel, Molybdenum & manganese. It is also known as inox steel. Around 10% of this alloy is made up of chromium. Chromium produces a thin oxide layer on the surface of stainless steel, called the ‘passive layer’. This passive layer and the addition of metals like nickel & Molybdenum, prevent the oxidation of Ferrous or in simple terms rusting of Iron. There are more than 100 grades of steel, which can be classified into 5 groups – viz. austenitic, ferritic, martensitic, duplex, and precipitation-hardening.
Austenitic Stainless steel is the most produced steel, consisting of about two-thirds of all stainless-steel production. The structure of this steel is a cube, which gives them excellent formability and weldability and they are ductile at cryogenic (extremely low) temperatures. And they are non-magnetic.
Ferritic steels have a high content of chromium and a low content of carbon. They are magnetic & have good ductility, resistance to corrosion and stress corrosion cracking. Martensitic stainless steels, named after the German metallurgist Adolf Martens, are formed by rapid cooling of austenite iron. Duplex stainless steels have a structure similar to that of austenite and ferrite stainless steel.
The earliest record for Copper Nickel production dates back to about 300 BCE in China. The description of the process in these records mentioned heating and mixing copper, nickel and saltpetre (potassium nitrate) together to form an alloy. Post the civil wars in the US, coins were made from this alloy.
Steel chrome alloys were first noted for their corrosion resistance in 1821 by Pierre Berthier. ln 1912, Sheffield based metallurgist Harry Brearley was credited with the invention of stainless steel. He observed that stainless steel did not get corroded while trying to make ammunitions.
Copper Nickel Properties & Applications
Copper Nickel is silver in colour, despite its high copper content. Copper on its own is reddish brown coloured metal. The change in colour is due to the loss of 1 electron in the last shell of the orbit, making it an electro negative atom.
Copper Nickel is highly ductile and malleable. Ductility refers to the ability of a metal to be drawn into a thin wire and malleability refers to the ability of a metal to be moulded in any particular shape without breaking. Hence it is used to produce industrial grade wires, tubes, pipes, rods, sheets, etc. Copper Nickel is resistant to corrosion by microfouling (algae, fungi etc) and saline (sea) water, making it the perfect alloy for marine applications. For example, manufacturing welding electrodes, boat hulls, marine condenser tubes, heat exchangers, brake lines, pipe fittings, valves and fasteners. Unlike stainless steel, which is easily corroded by biofouling. Copper nickel has good tensile strength and is a good conductor of electricity.
Coins are made from Copper Nickel in the 70/30 ratio, because of its high durability and no-tarnish property.
Today, the use of stainless steel has been tremendous as many industries rely on the alloy for production of various resources. From construction of buildings, architecture to automobile, transport, medicine etc, these industries have about 15 grades of stainless steel for day to day production. Because of its good looks, stainless steel used in construction of skyscrapers, airports, bridges, sculptures, etc. The culinary uses of stainless steel include production of kitchen sinks, cutlery, cook ware, while its automotive and aerospace applications include construction of auto parts, railcars, aircrafts etc.
Some other applications of stainless steel include industrial equipment (for example, in paper mills, chemical plants, water treatment); and storage tanks and tankers for chemicals and food products (for example, chemical tankers and road tankers). Although stainless steel is generally non corrosive to most chemicals, it is affected by the presence of chorine compounds in water. Hence after using the equipment, it needs to be cleaned thoroughly. While copper nickel remains unaffected by chorine particles, it can get corroded in the presence of ammonia.
The appearance of this alloy is silver grey. Like Copper Nickel, stainless steel has good ductility, is very malleable, has high tensile strength and good lustre. Stainless steel is not a good conductor of electricity. While both these alloys have varying composition, they are 100% recyclable.
|Stainless Steel and Copper Nickel Price per kg||Origin||Price in USD (per kg)|
|Stainless Steel Price per kg in India (grade 304)||Indian||$2.85|
|Copper Nickel Price per kg in India (CuNi 90/10)||Indian||$6.00|
|Stainless Steel 304||1.4301||S30400||SUS 304||304S31||08X18H10||Z7CN18-09||X5CrNi18-10|
|Stainless Steel 304L||1.4306/1.4307||S30403||SUS 304L||304S11||03X18H11||Z3CN18-10||X2CrNi18-9 / X2CrNi19-11|
|Stainless Steel 310||1.4845||S31000||-||-||-||-||-|
|Stainless Steel 310S||1.4845||S31008||SUS310S||-||20Ch23N18||-||X8CrNi25-21|
|Stainless Steel 316||1.4401 / 1.4436||S31600||SUS 316||316S31 / 316S33||-||Z7CND17-11-02||X5CrNiMo17-12-2 / X3CrNiMo17-13-3|
|Stainless Steel 316L||1.4404 / 1.4435||S31603||SUS 316L||316S11 / 316S13||03Ch17N14M3 / 03Ch17N14M2||Z3CND17-11-02 / Z3CND18-14-032||X2CrNiMo17-12-2 / X2CrNiMo18-14-3|
|Stainless Steel 317||1.4449||S31700||SUS 317||-||-||-||X6CrNiMo19-13-4|
|Stainless Steel 317L||1.4438||S31703||SUS 317L||-||-||-||X2CrNiMo18154|
|Stainless Steel 321||1.4541||S32100||SUS 321||-||08Ch18N10T||-||X6CrNiTi18-10|
|Stainless Steel 321H||1.4541||S32109||SUS 321H||-||-||-||X6CrNiTi18-10|
|Stainless Steel 347||1.4550||S34700||SUS 347||-||08Ch18N12B||-||X6CrNiNb18-10|
|Stainless Steel 347H||1.4961||S34709||SUS 347H||-||-||-||X7CrNiNb18-10|
|Stainless Steel 446||1.4762||S44600||-||-||-||-||-|
|Grade||C (max)||Mn (max)||Si (max)||P (max)||S||Cr||Mo||Ni||N|
|Stainless Steel 304||0.08||2||0.75||0.040||0.030||18 - 20||-||8 - 11||-|
|Stainless Steel 304L||0.03||2||0.75||0.045||0.030||18 - 20||-||8 - 12||0.10|
|Stainless Steel 310||0.25||2||1.50||0.045||0.030||24 - 26||-||19 - 22||-|
|Stainless Steel 310S||0.08||2||1.50||0.045||0.030||24 - 26||-||19 - 22||-|
|Stainless Steel 316||0.08||2||0.75||0.045||0.030||16 - 18||2 - 3||10 - 14||0.1 max|
|Stainless Steel 316L||0.3||2||0.75||0.045||0.030||16 - 18||2 - 3||10 - 14||0.10 max|
|Stainless Steel 317||008||2||1||0.040||0.03||18 - 20||3 - 4||11 - 14||0.10 max|
|Stainless Steel 317L||0.035||2||1||0.040||0.03||18 - 20||3 - 4||11 - 15||-|
|Stainless Steel 321||0.08||2||0.75||0.045||0.03||17 - 19||5xC min
|9 - 12||0.10 max|
|Stainless Steel 321H||0.04 - 0.10 max||2||0.75||0.045||0.03 max||17 - 19||4xC min
|9 - 12||0.10 max|
|Stainless Steel 347||0.08 max||2||0.75||0.045||0.03 max||17 - 20||10xC min
|9 - 13||62.74|
|Stainless Steel 347H||0.04 - 0.10||2||0.75||0.045||0.03 max||17 - 20||8xC min
|9 - 13||62.74|
|Stainless Steel 446||0.2 max||1.5||0.75||0.040||0.03 max||23 - 30||0.10 - 0.25||0.50 max||Balance|
|Grade||Density||Melting Point||Tensile Strength (Psi)||Yield Strength (0.2%Offset) (Psi)||Elongation|
|Stainless Steel 304||8.0 g/cm3||1400 °C (2550 °F)||75000, MPa - 515||30000, MPa - 205||35 %|
|Stainless Steel 304L||8.0 g/cm3||1400 °C (2550 °F)||75000, MPa - 515||30000, MPa - 205||40 %|
|Stainless Steel 310||8.0 g/cm3||1454 °C (2650 °F)||75000, MPa - 515||30000, MPa - 205||35 %|
|Stainless Steel 310S||8.0 g/cm3||1454 °C (2650 °F)||75000, MPa - 515||30000, MPa - 205||35 %|
|Stainless Steel 316||8.0 g/cm3||1454 °C (2650 °F)||75000, MPa - 515||30000, MPa - 205||35 %|
|Stainless Steel 316L||8.0 g/cm3||1454 °C (2650 °F)||75000, MPa - 515||30000, MPa - 205||40 %|
|Stainless Steel 317||8.0 g/cm3||1454 °C (2650 °F)||75000, MPa - 515||30000, MPa - 205||35 %|
|Stainless Steel 317L||8.0 g/cm3||1454 °C (2650 °F)||75000, MPa - 515||30000, MPa - 205||35 %|
|Stainless Steel 321||8.0 g/cm3||1454 °C (2650 °F)||75000, MPa - 515||30000, MPa - 205||35 %|
|Stainless Steel 321H||8.0 g/cm3||1454 °C (2650 °F)||75000, MPa - 515||30000, MPa - 205||35 %|
|Stainless Steel 347||8.0 g/cm3||1454 °C (2650 °F)||75000, MPa - 515||30000, MPa - 205||40 %|
|Stainless Steel 347H||8.0 g/cm3||1454 °C (2650 °F)||75000, MPa - 515||30000, MPa - 205||40 %|
|Stainless Steel 446||7.5 g/cm3||1510 °C (2750 °F)||75,000, MPa - 485||40,000, MPa - 275||20 %|
|Copper Nickel Product||Specification|
|Copper Nickel Bar||ASTM B122, B151, MILITARY MIL-C-15726, SAE J461, J463|
|Copper Nickel Bolts||ASTM F468|
|Copper Nickel Electrode, Welding||AWS A5.6, MILITARY MIL-E-22200/4|
|Copper Nickel Nuts||ASTM F467|
|Copper Nickel Pipe, Seamless||ASME SB466, ASTM B466|
|Copper Nickel Pipe, Welded||ASTM B608, B467|
|Copper Nickel Plate||ASTM B122, MILITARY MIL-C-15726, SAE J461, J463|
|Copper Nickel Plate, Clad||ASTM B432|
|Copper Nickel Plate, Condenser Tube||ASME SB171, ASTM B171, SAE J463, J461|
|Copper Nickel Rod||ASTM B151, MILITARY MIL-C-15726|
|Copper Nickel Screws||ASTM F468|
|Copper Nickel Sheet||ASTM B122, MILITARY MIL-C-15726, SAE J463, J461|
|Copper Nickel Strip||ASTM B122, MILITARY MIL-C-15726, SAE J461, J463|
|Copper Nickel Studs||ASTM F468|
|Copper Nickel Tube, Condenser||ASME SB111, ASTM B552, B111, MILITARY MIL-T-15005, SAE J463, J461|
|Copper Nickel Tube, Finned||ASME SB359, ASTM B359, MILITARY MIL-T-22214|
|Copper Nickel Tube, Seamless||ASME SB466, ASTM B466, MILITARY MIL-T-16420|
|Copper Nickel Tube, U-Bend||ASME SB395, ASTM B395|
|Copper Nickel Tube, Welded||ASME SB543, ASTM B543|
|Copper Nickel Wire||MILITARY MIL-C-15726|
|Property||Metric Units||Imperial Units|
|Melting Point (Liquidus)||11,500°C||21,000°F|
|Melting Point (Solidus)||11,000°C||20,100°F|
|Density||8.94 gm/cm³ @ 20°C||0.323 lb/in³ @ 68°F|
|Coefficient of Thermal Expansion||17.1 x 10 -6 / °C (20-300°C)||9.5 x 10 -5 / °F (68-392°F)|
|Themal Conductivity||40 W/m. °K @ 20°C||23 BTU/ft³/ft/hr/ °F @ 68°F|
|Thermal Capacity (Specific Heat)||380 J/kg. °K @ 20°C||0.09 BTU/lb/ °F @ 68°F|
|Electrical Conductivity (Annealed)||5.26 microhm .cm @ 20°C||9.1% IACS|
|Electrical Resistivity (Annealed)||0.190 microhm.cm @ 20°C||130 ohms (circ mil/ft) @ 68°F|
|Modulus of Elasticity (tension)||140 GPa @ 20°C||20 x 10 6 psi @ 68°F|
|Modulus of Rigidity (torsion)||52 GPa @ 20°C||7.5 x 10 6 psi @ 68°F|
|Oxidation at 500C||3|
While both copper nickel and stainless steel alloys have different metals, the applications of the alloy to be used is dependent on the end use of the product. Hope this article help you to resolve all your queries regarding Copper Nickel Vs Stainless Steel.
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