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Introduction of Refractory Metals

What is Refractory Metals?

Refractory metals refer to metals with melting point over 3632°F and certain reserves. Refractory metals include tungsten, tantalum, molybdenum, niobium, hafnium, chromium, vanadium, zirconium and titanium. Generally, refractory metals have high density and are heavy. The alloy with refractory metal as the matrix and other elements is called refractory metal alloy.

List of Refractory Metals

Refractory tungsten

The melting point of tungsten is the highest among all metal elements. The density (19.3 g/cm³) is very high, close to gold, and the hardness of tungsten is also very high. For example, the hardness of tungsten carbide is close to that of diamond. In addition, tungsten is widely used in alloy, electronics, chemical and other fields because of its good electrical and thermal conductivity and low expansion coefficient, among which tungsten carbide is the largest consumer.

Refractory molybdenum

Molybdenum is a rare metal as refractory as tungsten. Small expansion coefficient, high electrical conductivity and good thermal conductivity. It does not react with hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid and alkaline solution at room temperature, but only dissolves in nitric acid, aqua regia or concentrated sulfuric acid. It is also quite stable to most liquid metals, nonmetallic slag and molten glass. Therefore, molybdenum and its alloys have wide applications and good prospects in important sectors such as metallurgy, agriculture, electric power, chemical industry, environmental protection, aerospace, etc., and have become important raw materials and irreplaceable strategic substances in the national economy.

Refractory rhenium

Rhenium is a rare refractory metal. It not only has good plasticity, mechanical properties and creep resistance, but also has good wear resistance and corrosion resistance. It can maintain good chemical properties for most gases except oxygen. Rhenium and its alloys are widely used in aerospace, electronics, petrochemical and other fields. According to the data released by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2013, superalloy is the largest consumption area of rhenium, accounting for about 80% of the total consumption of rhenium, and catalyst is the second largest consumption area of rhenium.

Refractory niobium

Niobium is a rare metal with high melting point, which is silver-gray, soft and malleable. At room temperature, niobium does not react with air, and it will not be completely oxidized when heated in oxygen. Niobium can directly combine with sulfur, nitrogen and carbon at high temperature. Niobium does not react with inorganic acid or alkali, and is insoluble in aqua regia, but soluble in hydrofluoric acid. Because of its excellent superconductivity, high melting point, corrosion resistance and wear resistance, niobium is widely used in steel, superconducting materials, aerospace, atomic energy and other fields.

Refractory tantalum

Tantalum has a series of excellent properties, such as high melting point, low vapor pressure, good cold workability, high chemical stability, strong corrosion resistance of liquid metal and large dielectric constant of surface oxide film. Therefore, tantalum has important applications in high-tech fields such as electronics, metallurgy, steel, chemical engineering, cemented carbide, atomic energy, superconducting technology, automotive electronics, aerospace, medical and health care, scientific research, etc.

Refractory titanium

Titanium alloy has the characteristics of low density, high specific strength, good corrosion resistance, low thermal conductivity, non-toxicity, non-magnetism, weldability and good biocompatibility. It is widely used in aviation, aerospace, chemical industry, petroleum, electric power, medical treatment, construction and sporting goods.

Refractory chromium

Chromium is widely used in metallurgy, chemical industry, cast iron, refractories, high-precision technology and other fields because of its excellent properties such as hardness, brittleness and corrosion resistance.

Refractory zirconium

Zirconium is regarded as a gem because of its gorgeous color, and it plays a decorative role in human life. With the deepening of people's understanding of zirconium, the application of zirconium is more and more extensive. Perhaps most people are new to zirconium, but it has penetrated into all aspects of our lives. For example, the surrounding buildings, ceramics, knives, decorations, etc., which are essential to life, even in the military and nuclear fields, are inseparable from zirconium.

Refractory hafnium

Hafnium can react with air to form an oxide film protective layer. When the temperature is 500-750℃, the oxide film loses its protective function, and when heated, it combines with oxygen and nitrogen to form oxides and nitrides. When the temperature exceeds 800℃, hafnium is rapidly oxidized to form HfO2. Good corrosion resistance, no reaction with dilute hydrochloric acid, dilute sulfuric acid and strong alkali solution, soluble in hydrofluoric acid and aqua regia. Hafnium has excellent welding performance, processability, high temperature resistance and corrosion resistance, so it has become an important material in the atomic energy industry. Rhenium has the characteristics of ductility, oxidation resistance and high temperature resistance. It is also a good alloy material and used in many alloys.

Refractory vanadium

Vanadium is an important alloy element, which is mainly used in iron and steel industry. Vanadium-bearing steel has excellent characteristics such as high strength, high toughness and good wear resistance. Therefore, it is widely used in machinery, automobile, shipbuilding, railway, aviation, bridge, electronics, national defense and other industries. The proportion of vanadium used in steel industry is the highest, reaching 85%. The demand of steel industry directly affects the market of vanadium. About 10% of vanadium is used to produce titanium alloy for aerospace industry. Vanadium can be used as stabilizer and reinforcing agent of titanium alloy, which makes titanium alloy have good ductility and plasticity. In addition, vanadium is mainly used as catalyst and colorant in chemical industry. Vanadium is also used to produce rechargeable hydrogen batteries or vanadium redox batteries.

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