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A metal’s melting point is a characteristic figure and is used to identify pure compounds and elements. It is also the temperature at which adding more heat will convert a solid into a liquid without any further increase in temperature. The melting point of a pure substance depends on the pressure to which it is subjected, and it is therefore specified at standard atmospheric pressure.
In the case of nickel, it has a melting point of 1455°C. This is much higher than that of copper (1084°C) or aluminium (660°C), but lower than that of tungsten (3400°C). This high melting point makes nickel useful in a wide variety of applications, particularly where it must be able to operate at elevated temperatures.
The invention relates to a new and simplified process for the melting of nickel which dispenses with the use of crucibles and permits the melting of nickel more quickly, economically and in a practically pure condition. The method consists in passing large quantities of air under excessive pressure upwardly through a column of nickel in granular form and white-hot fuel so as to assure a temperature above the melting-point of the nickel, and allowing the melted nickel to fall downwardly upon a bed of sand or into a receptacle from which it can be drawn.
To detect the melting of the sample, X-ray diffraction and X-ray spectroscopy are employed simultaneously. Both techniques provide valuable information about the structure of the solid material up to the melting point. The results obtained show excellent agreement over the entire pressure range between XRD and XAS measurements, thus confirming complementarity of the two methods for the detection of melting.