Anode baskets isolated cropThe price of nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME) has increased by around 35% since June of this year. So, premium grades of nickel, used in electroplating, and nickel powders have obviously also closely followed this upward trend.

Cost reduction in manufacturing processes that include nickel plating is therefore a welcome and essential exercise. Companies using wrought nickel anodes could make some significant savings by a very simple substitution.

Due to a complex multi-stage process, wrought nickel anodes are inevitably more expensive than primary products such as Vale nickel pellets. The price difference right now, is as much as 60%.

The main issue with changing from wrought anodes to particulate nickel has been the cost of the titanium baskets needed to contain them.

Back when nickel was as low as £3.00 a kilo, this may have been the case but, in light of the present price levels, the equation certainly needs revisiting.

Further savings can also be made, as all of the particulate nickel within the titanium baskets dissolves, whereas, depending on working practices, the remains of wrought anode often needs to be removed prior to complete dissolution.

The use of particulate nickel pellets, in titanium baskets, also ensures that the anode area remains constant, giving rise to a more controllable deposit quality.

For your individual price comparison, please email Dr Tony Hart at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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