To kick off our Transition Metals series, we’re taking a closer look at the elements that form common alloys.
Those transition metals are Cobalt, Nickel, Iron, Rhodium, Gold, Silver and Copper.
Cobalt is used to make high performance alloys and rechargeable batteries.
Cobalt alloys include Alacrite, Cobalt-chrome, Havar, Megallium, Permendur, Samarium–cobalt magnet, Stellite and Vitallium. These alloys are used in turbine blades for gas turbines and aircraft engines because of their temperature stability.
Their corrosion and wear-resistance make their great of orthopedic implants as well. Cobalt alloys can be combined with high speed steel to make the compound more wear-resistant.
Cobalt is widely used in lithium ion batteries for the new generations of electric cars.
Nickel combines with aluminum and titanium to form dozens of alloys. They are corrosion and heat resistant for use in turbines, power plants, medical applications, nuclear power systems and chemical and petrochemical industries.
Steel and ferrous (iron) alloys are the most common industrial alloys thanks to the abundance of iron-rich rock and their range of properties.
They’re low cost and very strong. Ferrous alloys are used in engineering to construct machinery, automobiles, ships and buildings.
Rhodium is a noble metal in the platinum group. It is usually alloyed with platinum and palladium because of its rarity. The resulting alloys are resistant to corrosion and aggressive chemicals, so they’re used as catalysts in your car’s three-way catalytic converters.
A rhodium alloy can also be used in nuclear reactors to measure neutron flux.
Gold alloys are created to make different colors of gold for jewelry. In addition to jewelry, black-colored gold can be used for electroplating, patination, and in plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition processes.
Silver alloys with gold to make compounds stronger than either of the metals individually, and compounds more elastic than either metal.
Copper alloys – most famously bronze, tin and brass – are very resistant to corrosion. They are used to construct roofing materials, bullet jackets, electrical tools, hardware, pipes and plumbing.
Learn more about the transition metals on labnotes.chemistrymatters.com.