Oxide of niobium was selected in 1801, British chemist C. Hatchet of columbite, a mineral found in the basin of the Columbia river, so at first the metal was called «columbium». 40 years later, German scientist Heinrich rose, who studied the properties of the new element, suggested a new title: «niobium» after the daughter of Tantalus Niobe than stressed similarities in the properties of these two metals. Pure niobium was obtained only in 1866.
Production and consumption
The close relationship of niobium and tantalum leads to their frequent presence in the same minerals. The richest deposits are located in North America, Nigeria, Russia, Brazil. Every year the world uses 30 thousand tons of niobium, every year the consumption increased by 4 — 5%. 85% of it is mined in Brazil. Compared to other countries, consumes of niobium in Japan — about 4 thousand tons. Until the early 90-ies of the USSR consumed up to 2 thousand tons of niobium annually. Now — about 200 tons in the presence of significant refining of the metal remaining on the territory of Murmansk region, Estonia and Kazakhstan. Most of the products of these plants (about 90%) is exported.
Niobium is obtained from ore concentrates in 3 stages. 1) preparation of the concentrate, 2) separation of the oxides of niobium and tantalum, 3) recovery of niobium from Nb205 to clean metal. The last stage is usually carried out by heating in vacuum Nb205, together with soot. It is possible to recover the niobium to the metal, the aluminothermic method by using aluminum powder. Obtained in pure form niobium is high-melting, t° its melting point of 2468 °C. To obtain the niobium blanks using powder metallurgy. The powder preform is sintered in a vacuum at 2300 °C. the Percentage of impurities according to GOST 16 099−70 given below.
|Nb||Ta||W + Mo||N||O||C||Si||Fe||Ti||H|
|Нб1||to 0.1||0.01||0.01||0.01||0.01||to 0.005||to 0.005||to 0.005||to 0.001|
This metal has a narrow capture cross section for thermal neutrons and low power output of the electrons, it is refractory, a part of the high-temperature and superconducting alloys, It is resistant to corrosion, plastic just pressure treated and easily welded its Main customers are: aerospace, military, electronics, radio, nuclear power and industrial chemicals. There is a growing need in ferroniobium. It is associated with production of low alloy steels for tubes for oil and gas pipelines. The ferro-alloyed stainless steel to prevent intergranular corrosion, and other alloys to improve their properties. Niobium is used for the production of parts of aerospace engineering and for shells of uranium and plutonium reactors. It produces the containers and tubes for liquid metals (sodium and potassium in heat exchangers of nuclear boilers), parts of electrolytic capacitors; «hot» rebar powerful tubes (anodes, cathodes, grids, etc.); corrosion resistant rebar in the chemical industry.
Niobium alloyed with other metals, including uranium.
Superconducting properties of niobium are in demand in particle accelerators (in androna Collider) and in the design of cryotrons — superconducting parts of computers. This metal is characterized by low induced radioactivity because it produces containers for storage of radioactive waste. Steel pipe doped with niobium have the highest strength and corrosion resistance.
Storage and transportation
Packed pipe is stored indoors. They can be transported by any transport. During transport they are protected from mechanical deformations, moisture and impact of active chemicals.
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All niobium alloys implemented by the company «Electrocentury-steel» comply with GOST and international quality standards. Supply rental of rare and refractory metals standard and custom sizes in the shortest possible time from warehouses located on the territory of Russia and Ukraine. High quality, affordable prices and a wide range of products define the face of our company. Becoming our regular customer, You will be able to rely on the system of discount discount. Cooperation with us will help You to implement any engineering plans. Waiting for Your orders on the website evek.org.