How Niobium Powder is Produced and Its Most Important Applications

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Niobium powder is known by its use as additive to steel and stainless steel for gas and oil pipelines, truck and car bodies, tool steels, architectural requirements, railroad tracks and ships hulls. However, these are not the only applications for niobium.

Everything You Need to Know about Niobium Powder

Niobium is a gray and light metal with a bright white appearance. It is a metal with great potentials such as a high melting point, and density of 8.58g/cm³. Niobium is fragile and can be formed even at low temperatures. It occurs in a natural ore with tantalum. Besides the high melting point, this metal also has excellent oxidation and chemical resistance.

High Purity Niobium Powder

Niobium is a multi-talented material for super alloys, electronics, and optical applications as of its combination of specific physical and chemical elements.

How Niobium Powder is Produced

Two methods are used for niobium production – extraction and refining.

Niobium oxide is usually the starting element for the production of other compounds including niobium carbide, niobium chloride, and lithium niobate. Niobium is formed by the aluminothermic reduction of the Niobium oxide and acted in accordance with electron beam refining.

The niobium powders can be produced by the reduction of niobium oxide with magnesium or by the reduction of potassium niobium heptafluoride with sodium.

The Most Important Applications of Niobium Powder

It is proven that the largest market for niobium powder is in high-strength low alloy steel production where this metal brings high-temperature strength and corrosion resistance to automobile components, gas pipelines, and structural steel. Like tantalum, niobium can also act as an electrolytic valve and is used in advanced airframe systems, and arc-welding rods for balanced grades of stainless steel.

One of the most interesting applications of niobium is in the field of superconductivity. Apparently, the superconductive magnets are formed of niobium and zirconium wire, which absorbs superconductivity in powerful magnetic fields. Besides niobium and zirconium, there are other alloys of niobium including tin and aluminum which are superconductive as well. Niobium in pure form is a superconductor, especially in extremely low temperatures. It is absolutely capable of being colored in an electrolytic process and used in lamp filaments or to make jewelry.

Even though niobium powder has various applications, it is mostly used in the production of steel. The second most important application is in nickel-based superalloys.

  • Niobium Oxide – Its technical attributes are a high index of refraction, light transmittance, and high dielectric constant. It’s most important applications include camera lenses, ceramic capacitors, coating on glass for computer displays, manufacture lithium niobate for surface acoustic wave filters.
  • Niobium Carbide – Its technical attributes are high-temperature deformation and control grain growth. It’s most important application is in cutting tool compositions.
  • Niobium Metal Plates, Wire, Sheets, Rod, Tubing – The technical attributes are corrosion resistance, the formation of oxide and nitride films, oxidation resistance, reduced erosion at high temperatures, and improves creep resistance. It’s most important applications include sputtering targets, chemical processing equipment, and cathode protection systems for large steel structures.
  • Niobium-Titanium & Niobium-Tin Alloy – The electrical resistance of alloy wire can drop to zero or below the temperature of liquid helium. The most important applications include magnetic levitation transport systems, superconducting magnetic coils in MRI or magnetic resonance imagery, particle physics experiments, and magnetoencephalography.
  • Nickel- Niobium and Vacuum-Grade Ferro- Niobium–The technical attributes are corrosion and oxidation resistance and reduced erosion at high temperatures. The most important applications are superalloy additions for turbine blade applications in land-based turbines and in jet engines.
  • Niobium Glass – The optical glasses contain approximately 30% niobium pentoxide which allows lenses to be lighter and thinner than the ordinary ones. This has led to wide use of niobium powder in copying machines, lenses for cameras, eyeglasses, and etc.
  • Lithium-Niobium – It is relatively hard, transparent, and dense material that features clear glass. It is perfect for electro-optical applications.

Purchase High Purity Niobium Powder

If you are interested in purchasing powdered niobium, Tritrust Industrial as an official supplier can ensure niobium powder of an utmost quality!

Tritrust Industrial is your best source and can definitely meet your standards, needs, and specifications.

Contact us for additional information!