Nichrome is basically a name given to nickel-chromium resistance wires. It is a non-magnetic alloy, which consists of 80 percent nickel and 20 percent chromium by weight, and is widely used in heating elements because of its relatively high resistivity. Out of the constituents of nichrome, nickel is an element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28, whereas chromium is an element with the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. Nickel is generally a silvery-white lustrous metal, and chromium, a steely-gray and hard metal. Nichrome, the alloy, is silvery-gray in color, resistant towards corrosion, and has a high melting point.
It is used in the explosives, fireworks, and ceramic making industry, as a heating element. The alloy is very useful in the process of ceramic making, as it can withstand the high temperatures that are generated when a clay object is fired in a kiln. It is also used in motorcycle silencers and in certain microbiological lab apparatus. The chromium present in the wire oxidizes on being heated, and forms a protective layer of chromium oxide. The alloy is expensive because of its high nickel content.
Nichrome is a very useful alloy because of its properties, and has found applications in many instruments which require high resistivity of the constituent material.