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Nickel is a silvery-white, hard, malleable, and ductile metal that is used as an alloying element to alter the properties of other materials. For example, nickel is often added to stainless steel in order to increase its corrosion resistance and high-temperature performance.
Melting point of nickel is 1455 degC (boiling point is 2913 degC)
The melting point of a metal indicates the temperature at which a mixture of vapor and liquid can exist together for a given pressure. Generally, the melting point of a solid is higher than the boiling point because the melting process requires a lot of energy to break down the bonds between the protons and electrons.
Alloying of nickel with other metals can produce desired properties such as corrosion resistance, higher-temperature performance, and lower coefficients of thermal expansion, for example. For example, nickel is an essential ingredient in a copper-zinc alloy known as Monel that can resist corrosion by seawater.
X-ray diffraction is a technique that uses a scanning X-ray beam to record the diffraction pattern of a sample as it is heated up gradually. This technique is useful to determine the melting point of a material, since it can be observed through the appearance of liquid diffuse scattering in the X-ray diffraction pattern when the sample reaches its melting point.
The onset of melting is determined by the evolution of the X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) region of the collected spectra. Upon melting, the XANES region shows a decrease in the peak intensity of the first two oscillations and the disappearance of the shoulder.