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Molybdenum Applications in Various Industries

Molybdenum, often referred to as "Moly", is a shiny grey metal with high density and high melting point, which makes it an ideal alloy material for stainless steel. Of the major molybdenum applications, the most popular one is in the steel manufacturing industry. This is because the properties of molybdenum enhance its strength and improves its corrosion resistance. These qualities are very important in the production of high-quality steel products.

1. Physical properties of molybdenum Molybdenum is present in various ores, but is often extracted from molybdenite (MOS2), which is a sulphide ore. It usually contains 0.01% and 0.25% molybdenum. It has the atomic symbol Mo and atomic number 42 in the Periodic Table of Elements. Mo is located between chromium and tungsten on the Periodic Table. It is featured as a transition metal element with a high density of 10.28 g/cm3, only 25% greater than that of iron. It ranks number 6 in terms of high melting points (4,753째F / 2,623째C). It has a low coefficient of thermal expansion and it reaches an oxidation state at 300째C. Due to these unique properties, there are many, even potential, industrial applications for molybdenum materials.

2. Molybdenum used in steel industry About three-fourths of the world demand for molybdenum comes from the steel industry. Molybdenum is an important alloying agent in steel production. It can increase the toughness of stainless steel and improve its resistance to high temperatures. It also increases the corrosion resistance of stainless steel.

High-grade stainless steel usually contains molybdenum in an amount from 0.25 to 8%. It is estimated that about 20% new or virgin molybdenum recovered from mined ore is mainly used to make molybdenum-bearing high grade stainless steel. In the global stainless market, the 316 grade is the major moly-bearing grade, with 2-3% Mo content or so.

3. Molybdenum used in refining petroleum


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The petroleum industry is an important sector for the global economy because it supports other industries. The petroleum sector provides key raw materials for the manufacture of chemical products such as pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, polymers, organic solvents and insecticides.

There are numerous catalysts required in the processes involved in the petroleum refining. In the past, homogenous catalysts were used because of their availability. However, they were later on substituted by more affordable materials, one of which is molybdenum. Molybdenum applications in the petroleum industry makes the process more environment-frendly as moly may be recycled and reused.

4. Other molybdenum applications Molybdenum products have other applications in other areas such as the production of electrodes for glass furnaces and as a filament material in electrical products. Recently more molybdenum applications are being exploited, for instance, it is likely to be use in new-type plant nutrition and nuclear technology, apart from the traditional fields like aerospace construction, power generation and manufacture of consumer goods.

There are many high technology products that require molybdenum, such as medical equipment, jet engines, semi-conductors, pigments, lubricants, and even pharmaceutical products. Today, the wide range of molybdenum applications makes this element a rare and precious commodity in the minerals market.

By Stanford Advanced Materials Stanford Advanced Materials (SAM) Corporation is a global supplier of a series of pure metals, alloys, ceramics and minerals such as oxides, chlorides, sulfides, oxysalts, etc. Our headquarter, located in Irvine, California, USA, was first established in 1994, starting to provide high-quality rare-earth products for research and development (R&D).

Molybdenum applications in various industries  

Molybdenum, often referred to as "Moly", is a shiny grey metal with high density and high melting point, which makes it an ideal alloy mater...

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