The Right Metals for Alloys

Various metals have been used since the Neolithic age for tools and weapons, and today, science and technology allow such metals as molybdenum, tungsten, copper, nickel, and more to be combined into alloys that have excellent properties for a variety of jobs, from stainless steel cutlery and surgical knives to underwater pipes in oceans that can endure the salinity of the seawater, and much more, such as in mining or car parts. Alloy products make for metal that is harder, has a higher melting point, can resist certain chemicals or elements, and pressure as compared to raw metals such as iron or tin. Molybdenum is one such metal that is very useful for construction, and molybdenum manufacturing methods exist across the American metal industry to make alloys for any purpose imaginable. Tungsten, nickel, and molybdenum manufacturing methods are a science of creating synthetic but powerful metals for the job. What are the properties of these metals, and how can they factor into molybdenum manufacturing methods? What the hard specs of the alloys being made with molybdenum manufacturing methods or the tungsten manufacturing process?

Properties of Metal

Tungsten and molybdenum stand as two popular metals for making alloys and specialized metal parts for industry and private use alike. Tungsten, for example, was discovered as far back as 1781, but it did not find itself useful to industry until about 10 years later. In nature, this metal is only found when combined with elements like iron, calcium, or manganese in mineral formations, although tungsten can be used without those other elements in a tungsten crucible to create alloys. Tungsten is exceptional among metals, having the highest melting point at 6,170 degrees Fahrenheit, and it also has the highest tensile strength and the lowest vapor pressure out of all pure metals. In particular, this metal’s tensile strength weighs in at 1,510 megapascals, an impressive count, and tungsten carbide is almost as hard as diamonds themselves.

Molybdenum, meanwhile, was also discovered in the late 1700s and has been put to good use in the next 200 years and beyond. This metal’s melting point is lower than tungsten’s, but is still impressive at 4,748 degrees Fahrenheit, and this metal is commonly used in furnace electrodes; it takes advantage of its highest melting point and can be made into electrodes for electrically heated furnaces, according to Jefferson Lab. Molybdenum also found its way into the nuclear power industry, and is also involved in the construction of missile and aircraft parts.

Molybdenum manufacturing methods often involve steel. This metal is useful for alloying with steel at a concentration of 0.25% to 8%, and when this is done, ultra-strength steels are the result, which can endure pressures up to 300,000 pounds per square inch. Molybdenum can also be alloyed with nickel to create materials that are resistant to chemical corrosion, or heat, making this alloy popular in the chemical industry. In fact, mining and processing tungsten and copper will also yield molybdenum as a side product. When used for electric furnace electrodes, great care must be taken that the metal alloys and the mechanical parts are built to exact specifications for use. Glass melting electrodes made from molybdenum must be at a purity level of 99.95% so that they can resist chemical degradation and corrosion, and so glass discoloring can be minimized. Strict quality control must be observed when these industrial parts are constructed so that faulty parts are not sent to factories, or else expensive damage may be the result and the factory could come to a temporary standstill.

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