This article reviews the corrosion behavior in various environments for seven important nickel alloy families: commercially pure nickel, Ni-Cu, Ni-Mo, Ni-Cr, Ni-Cr-Mo, Ni-Cr-Fe, and Ni-Fe-Cr. It examines the behavior of nickel alloys in corrosive media found in industrial settings. The corrosive media include: hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, hydrofluoric acid, hydrobromic acid, nitric acid, organic acids, salts, seawater, and alkalis. The modes of high-temperature corrosion include oxidation, carburization, metal dusting, sulfidation, nitridation, corrosion by halogens, and corrosion by molten salts. Applications where the corrosion properties of nickel alloys are important factors in materials selection include the petroleum, chemical, and electrical power industries. Most nickel alloys are much more resistant than the stainless steels to reducing acids, such as hydrochloric, and some are extremely resistant to the chloride-induced phenomena of pitting, crevice attack, and stress-corrosion cracking (to which the stainless steels are susceptible). Nickel alloys are also among the few metallic materials able to cope with hot hydrofluoric acid. The conditions where nickel alloys suffer environmentally assisted cracking are highly specific and therefore avoidable by proper design of the industrial components.
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