Is Nickel a Metal? (+ 4 Fascinating Facts to Know)

Yes, nickel is a metal. It is a chemical element with the symbol Ni and atomic number 28, belonging to the transition metals group in the periodic table. 1

Well, this was just a simple answer. But there are few more things to know about this topic which will make your concept super clear.

So let’s dive right into it.

Key Takeaways: Is Nickel a Metal or Nonmetal?

  • Nickel is a metal with properties like shiny appearance, good electrical and thermal conductivity, malleability, high melting point, and ductility.
  • Nickel’s location on the periodic table and its uses in metal alloys also classify it as a metal.
  • Nickel differs from other metals in its magnetic properties, corrosion resistance, allergenic potential, and radioactive isotopes.
  • Nickel has various industrial applications, including manufacturing, construction, and electronics.

Explanation: Why is nickel a metal?

Nickel is a metal because it has certain properties that are characteristic of metals. Metals are elements that are typically shiny, conduct heat and electricity well, are malleable (can be shaped without breaking), and have a high melting point. Nickel has all of these properties.

Nickel is also located in the middle of the periodic table, which is where most of the metals are found. It has a relatively high atomic number and is surrounded by other metals like iron, cobalt, and copper.

In addition to its physical properties, nickel is also used in a variety of metal alloys (mixtures of metals) because of its strength and resistance to corrosion. 2 3 It is commonly found in stainless steel, which is used in kitchen appliances, cutlery, and many other products.

Overall, nickel is a metal because of its physical and chemical properties, its location on the periodic table, and its uses in metal alloys.

Properties of nickel that classify it as a metal

Nickel has several properties that classify it as a metal, including:

  • Shiny appearance: Metals are typically shiny and reflective, and nickel is no exception. Its surface can have a lustrous appearance when polished. 4
  • Good electrical conductivity: Metals are good conductors of electricity, meaning they allow electricity to flow through them easily. Nickel is an excellent conductor of electricity, making it useful in electrical wiring and other applications. 5
  • Good thermal conductivity: Like electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity refers to how well a material conducts heat. Nickel is a good conductor of heat, which means it can transfer heat quickly and efficiently.
  • Malleability: Metals can be shaped and bent without breaking. Nickel is a malleable metal, meaning it can be hammered or rolled into thin sheets or wires.
  • High melting point: Metals typically have high melting points, which means they can withstand high temperatures without melting. Nickel has a melting point of 1453°C (2647°F), which is relatively high. 6
  • Ductility: Ductility refers to a material’s ability to be stretched or pulled into a wire without breaking. Nickel is a ductile metal, which makes it useful in manufacturing processes that require wire drawing. 7

Overall, these properties make nickel a valuable metal in various industrial applications, including manufacturing, construction, and electronics.

How is nickel different from other metals?

While nickel shares many properties with other metals, there are a few ways in which it differs:

  • Magnetic properties: Unlike most metals, nickel is magnetic at room temperature. 8 This property makes it useful in alloys like permalloy, which are used in electrical components and devices.
  • Corrosion resistance: Nickel has a high resistance to corrosion, which means it is less likely to rust or corrode when exposed to moisture or certain chemicals. 9 This property makes nickel useful in applications where corrosion resistance is important, such as in the production of marine equipment or chemical processing plants.
  • Allergenic potential: While rare, some people may have an allergic reaction to nickel. This property is unique to nickel and not common among other metals.
  • Radioactive isotopes: Nickel has several radioactive isotopes, which can be used in scientific research and medical applications. 10

Overall, while nickel shares many properties with other metals, its magnetic properties, corrosion resistance, allergenic potential, and radioactive isotopes make it unique among other elements.

Further reading

Is Copper a Metal or Nonmetal?
Is Zinc a Metal or a Nonmetal?
Is Gallium a Metal, Nonmetal or Metalloid?
Is Arsenic a Metal, Nonmetal or Metalloid?
Is Selenium a Metal or Nonmetal? 

About author

Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. He is a founder of Pediabay and is passionate about helping students through his easily digestible explanations.

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  1. Transition Metals. (n.d.). Transition Metals.
  2. Morinaga, M. (2019). Nickel Alloys. A Quantum Approach to Alloy Design, 19–45.
  3. Weber, J. H., & Banerjee, M. K. (2019). Nickel and Nickel Alloys: An Overview. Reference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering.
  4. Nickel – Element information, properties and uses | Periodic Table. (n.d.). Nickel – Element Information, Properties and Uses | Periodic Table.
  5. Surprising discovery could change the way industry uses nickel. (2019, July 31). Surprising Discovery Could Change the Way Industry Uses Nickel | Texas a&M University Engineering.
  6. Nickel | Definition, Properties, Symbol, Uses, & Facts. (n.d.). Encyclopedia Britannica.
  7. P. (n.d.). Nickel | Ni (Element) – PubChem. Nickel | Ni (Element) – PubChem.
  8. KAYA, S., & MASIYAMA, Y. (1927, December). The Magnetic Properties of Single Crystals of Nickel. Nature, 120(3035), 951–952.
  9. Nickel Compounds – Cancer-Causing Substances. (2022, December 8). National Cancer Institute.
  10. MADSEN, C. B. (1936, October). Radioactive Isotopes of Nickel and Copper. Nature, 138(3495), 722–722.

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