The Uses of Vanadium Mine


Vanadium is renowned as the monosodium glutamate of modern industry, which is an important addition agent of wide uses in modern industry. Presently, it is most widely used in metallurgic industry. From the global scope, the consumption of vanadium in iron and steel industry accounts for 85% of its total production.

The main component of vanadium mine is vanadium compounds. Therefore, the main uses of vanadium mine is to extract vanadium pentoxide to produce ferrovanadium, and then used in steel addictives. Vanadium mine can also be used in producing free cutting steel, catalyst, and other alloy steels. Blend vanadium into steel can produce vanadium steel, which has denser structure, higher tenacity, elasticity, and mechanical strength than plain steel. The armour-piercing bullet made by vanadium steel can shot through steel plate of 40cm thickness. However, in iron and steel industry, vanadium steel is not made by adding pure vanadium metal powder into steel, but directly transmute vanadium-containing iron mine into vanadium steel.

Vanadium is mainly made into ferrovanadium to act as the alloy composition of steel. It can refine the matrix grains of steel and is widely used in various kinds of steels. In non-ferrous alloy, vanadium is mainly used to make titanium alloy(Ti-6Al-4V). It can also control the gas content of copper base alloy and improve its microstructure. Adding a small amount of vanadium into the acieral of the internal combustion engine’s piston can enhance the intensity of alloy and reduce thermal coefficient of expansion. The fast neutrons of vanadium have small absorption cross section with good resistance against liquid state sodium’s corrosion. Its high temperature resistance creeping strength can be used to produce clad materials and cartridge for the fuel rod of fast breeder reactor. The intermetallic compound of vanadium, V3Ga, is superconducting materials. V2O5 is widely used as the catalyst of organic oxidation reaction and inorganic oxidation reaction; it is used to make the glass that can absorb ultraviolet light and heat rays, and the coloring agents of glass and ceramics. The vanadium oxide and metavanadate extracted from vanadium mine are used to produce printing ink and black dye. Therefore, the uses of vanadium mine are similar to vanadium metal.

Vanadium salts are indeed multi-colored: green, red, black, yellow. The green ones are like jade, and the black ones like thick ink. For example, bivalent vanadium salt is usually purple; trivalent vanadium salt is green, tetravalent vanadium salt is light blue. The alkaline derivatives of tetravalent vanadium are usually brown or black. However, vanadium pentoxide is red. These colorful compounds of vanadium are made into vivid pigments: adding them into the glass can make stained glass and all kinds of inks.

With the rapid development of China’s national economy and steel industry, the demands of vanadium products from Chinese market will show a continuous expanding trend. As an important micro-alloying element, vanadium will play an important role in the optimization and upgrading of construction steel, pipeline steel, vanadium-containing heavy rail steel, automobile-used constructional steel, non-quenched and tempered steel, and many other products. As the technology maturing with the passing day, its application area will gradually expand into chemical industry, battery, ceramics, glass, etc. In the near future, China will become the largest consumer of vanadium products throughout the world.