Nickel Magazine - Current Issue

Volume 29-2 : Game changers

July 18, 2014

Disruptive technologies in manufacturing, transportation, energy and sport


3D Printing

Three dimensional (3D) printing received the ultimate accolade last year when, in his State of the Union address, President Obama said it had the potential to revolutionise the way in which we make almost everything; what he might have said was, it’s a potential game changer.

Driving to lower carbon living

Tesla Motors and the driving force behind it, Elon Musk, have captured the attention of the world. Tesla is taking a 20th century idea and shows every sign of turning it into a disruptive force in the automotive world in the 21st century. The man and the machine collectively constitute a game changer, for which nickel is essential.

Electroplating and Nanotechnology

Nothing upsets an ice hockey player more than having a stick break at a critical scoring moment. But now, nanotechnology and nickel offer players a lightweight stick with the performance associated with modern composites and with significantly increased strength.

In Use

Really Green Ethanol

The use of food crops for the production of fuel is somewhat controversial. 2014 will see, however, the commissioning of the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production facilities that will increase the utilization of plant waste, reduce competition for food crops and provide a substitution for fossil fuels. And nickel-containing alloys are central to this game-changing revolution.

Greening Power

Where and how the world finds its energy is changing. Yet how nickel-containing materials are enabling and supporting this dynamic process may not seem obvious until one looks closely

Kelpies in Scotland

Towering thirty meters above the Forth and Clyde canal in central Scotland, the Kelpies can claim to be among the world’s most exciting pieces of public art. Scottish sculptor Andy Scott’s massive pair of equine heads is inspired by the powerful heavy horses that worked the canal towpaths in times gone by.

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In Brief

Coping with extremes

Living in Alaska is living on the edge. Both geography and climate conspire to challenge service providers. One such provider is the Golden Valley Electrical Association (GVEA), a cooperative headquartered in Fairbanks, Alaska’s second largest city. It supplies electricity to some 90,000 customers spread over 5,700km2 in the interior of the state.


Drug delivery by means of micro robots, also called microbots, which are no bigger than a human cell may one day allow drugs to be delivered exactly where needed in the body. The nickel-coated cage-like device, 100 microns long and 40 wide, is small enough to be injected into the body and guided wirelessly with an electromagnetic field. To enable wireless control, parts of the microbot are coated with a thin layer of nickel which is ferro-magnetic.

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