Neusilber (German Neusilber - new silver) - an alloy of copper with 5-35% nickel and 13-45% zinc. It is a substitute for silver. Similar alloys have been used since the 14th century, and periods are known when the prices for these alloys were higher than the cost of silver itself. Nickel silver was discovered and began to be actively used in the 18th century. The most common brand of nickel silver MNTs15-20 (65% copper, 15% nickel, 20% zinc). Due to the zinc content, the alloy is somewhat cheaper than cupronickel similar in appearance and mechanical properties. Actually, nickel silver differs from cupronickel by the presence of zinc in the composition. Nickel and zinc present in nickel silver increase the corrosion resistance and strength of the main component of the alloy - copper. The presence of nickel makes it possible to improve the mechanical properties of copper by an order of magnitude, and the corrosion resistance by a factor of three. The addition of zinc further improves the strength and hardness of nickel silver, the hardness after annealing can reach up to 30 HRC, and the strength up to 45 kg/sq.m. (deformation processes in the alloy, as a rule, begin at loads from 10 kg/m2).
So, nickel silver is characterized by corrosion resistance, increased strength and elasticity during deformation, satisfactory ductility in hot and cold states. Has a silver color. Nickel silver can be alloyed with lead for better machining. Density - from 8.1 to 8.7 g / cm³; melting point is about 900 °C. Nickel silver has a low thermal conductivity and a very low thermal expansion coefficient. Among the advantages of nickel silver for use in knife making, it is worth noting its high ductility. The relative elongation in tension and narrowing is about 30%, which greatly facilitates the fitting of structural parts.
German silver is resistant to the negative effects of the external environment, does not oxidize in air, does not react with atmospheric gases up to a temperature of 250 degrees Celsius, has increased resistance to most acids and organic solvents, and is inert to salts.
Nickel silver is used in industry for the manufacture of parts for precision instruments, medical instruments, steam and water fittings, components for cutting tool handles, musical instruments, awards (orders and medals) and jewelry. Just like cupronickel, nickel silver is similar to silver, but cheaper than cupronickel. Nickel silver is well covered with silver.
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