7 Uses of Cobalt You Mightn’t Know
Cobalt is a silver-gray metal with element symbol Co, atomic number 27, a melting point of 1495 ℃, and a boiling point of 2870 ℃. Due to its good temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, and magnetic properties, cobalt is widely used in production and our life. In this article, we’ll introduce 7 uses of cobalt you mightn’t know.
1. The Uses of Cobalt in the Field of Magnetic Material
Cobalt is one of the few metals that remain magnetic after a single magnetization. The temperature at which magnetism is lost by heat is called the Curie point. Iron has a Curie point of 769 ° C, nickel of 358 ° C, and cobalt of 1150 ° C.
The magnetic steel containing 60% cobalt has a coercive force 2.5 times higher than that of ordinary magnetic steel. Under the vibration environment, the general magnetic steel loses almost 1/3 of its magnetism. Cobalt steel loses only 2% -3.5% of its magnetism.
Because of its superior magnetic properties, cobalt is widely used in the manufacture of high-performance magnetic materials.
2. The Uses of Cobalt in the Field of Hard Alloy and Superalloy
Tool steel containing a certain amount of cobalt can significantly improve its wear resistance and cutting performance. Cobalt combines other metal carbide grains in the alloy composition to make the alloy tougher and reduce the sensitivity to impact. This alloy is welded to the surface of the part and can increase the life of the part by 3-7 times. Stellite hard alloys containing more than 50% cobalt will not lose their original hardness even if heated to 1000 ℃.
When the temperature is above 1038 ℃, the superiority of the cobalt-based alloy is revealed, and it is particularly suitable for making high-efficiency high-temperature engines and steam turbines. Therefore, the cobalt-based alloy is widely used in the aerospace and modern military fields.
The use of cobalt-based alloys containing 20% -27% chromium in the structural materials of aviation turbine engines can achieve high oxidation resistance without using any protective coating.
3. The Uses of Cobalt in the Field of Battery Material
Currently, nearly 40% of cobalt consumption is used for rechargeable battery materials, such as lithium cobaltate for lithium-ion batteries and cobaltous oxide for nickel-metal hydride batteries.
The main use of cobalt is for lithium batteries. One of the cores of lithium-ion batteries is its positive electrode material, which uses lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2). Lithium cobalt oxide is a solid electrolyte with high energy density and high environmental safety.
Compared with Ni-Cd and Ni-Mn, the advantages of lithium batteries are wide voltage range, high energy density, and environmental protection.
Uses of Cobalt
Cobalt has a high heat resistance making it useful for parts that are frequently exposed to high concentrations of heat. It also has a high melting point that allows it to last a long time while being prone to face harsh temperatures. Because of its magnetic properties, cobalt is used in electronic devices like smartphones, and recording devices.
Other properties of cobalt include:
- Corrosive resistance
- Resistance to oxidation (loss of electrons)
- Bright colors that can be made to shine
- (Radiation) Radioactive cobalt-60 is used in cancer therapy and food preservation
Without cobalt many high performance alloys wouldn’t be possible. High powered lithium-ion batteries also benefit greatly from cobalt. Cobalt can extend the lifetime of batteries because of its oxidation resistance making it
In aviation, cobalt is used in engines because of the high temperatures they can reach. Engines often reach over 1,400 degrees celsius making cobalt a necessity because of its high melting point of 1,495 degrees celsius. Its high melting point allows it to withstand the extreme temperatures easier.
While cobalt is mainly used in combination with other metals, it still serves as a prime component of batteries which are used universally in all industries. Although cobalt is abundant, it’s still important to buy it from a high quality dealer that understands how to maintain it. At Avion Alloys, we understand how to store materials like cobalt in ways that won’t lessen they’re natural properties. Make sure to contact us online for a free quote to begin a relationship with a top quality vendor today!
4. The Uses of Cobalt in the Medical Industry
Cobalt is also widely used in the medical field. The radioactive isotope of cobalt can treat skin diseases and malignant tumors. Adding an appropriate amount of cobalt to penicillin can improve its curative effect. In vitamin B12 (alias cobalamin), which has special effects on hematopoiesis, the cobalt content is as high as 4.5%. In addition, cobalt is also used in artificial joint materials and dental fillings.
5. The Uses of Cobalt in the Field of Pigment
Cobalt Blue Pigment
The chemical composition of cobalt blue is CoO • Al2O3. The cobalt blue pigment has a bright color. In addition, it has strong weather resistance, acid and alkali resistance, heat resistance up to 1200 degrees Celsius, suitable for coloring pigments for ceramics, glass, enamel, and other materials.
Cobalt Purple Pigment
The cobalt purple pigment used for decoration of ceramics, glass and other products is cobalt phosphate, the chemical formula is Co3 (PO4) 2, which is blue-phase purple, and is synthesized by the dry solid phase.
Cobalt Black Pigment
Cobalt black pigments mainly include iron-cobalt black and iron-cobalt chrome black. The basic chemical formula of iron-cobalt black is (Fe, Co) Fe2O4, which is mainly used for the coloring of ceramic green bodies. The coloring mechanism belongs to metal mixed-phase coloring.
The chemical formula of iron-cobalt chrome black is (Co, Fe) (Fe, Cr) 2O4, which is mainly used for the coloring of ceramic glazes, and the coloring mechanism is also metal mixed-phase coloring.
Cobalt Statistics and Information
Cobalt (Co) is a metal used in numerous diverse commercial, industrial, and military applications, many of which are strategic and critical. On a global basis, the leading use of cobalt is in rechargeable battery electrodes. Superalloys, which are used to make parts for gas turbine engines, are another major use for cobalt. Cobalt is also used to make airbags in automobiles; catalysts for the petroleum and chemical industries; cemented carbides (also called hardmetals) and diamond tools; corrosion- and wear-resistant alloys; drying agents for paints, varnishes, and inks; dyes and pigments; ground coats for porcelain enamels; high-speed steels; magnetic recording media; magnets; and steel-belted radial tires.
With Ford Motor Company (Detroit, MI), Huayou Cobalt (Zhejiang, China), IBM (Armonk, NY), chemical company LG Chem (Seoul, South Korea) and global service provider RCS Global, the project includes participants at each major stage of the supply chain from mine to end-user and plans to use blockchain technology to trace and validate ethically sourced minerals. The pilot will be focused on cobalt and explore the creation of an open, industry-wide blockchain platform that could ultimately be used to trace and validate a range of minerals used in consumer products.
Cobalt is in high demand for its use in lithium-ion batteries, which power a wide range of products including laptops, mobile devices, and electric vehicles. According to some reports, demand for the mineral is expected to multiply eightfold by 2026, especially in electric vehicle and consumer applications where the typical electric car battery requires up to 20 pounds of cobalt and a standard laptop requires around one ounce of the mineral.
The blockchain pilot is already underway and seeks to demonstrate how materials in the supply chain are responsibly produced, traded, and processed. For this pilot based on a simulated sourcing scenario, Cobalt produced at Huayou’s industrial mine site in the Democratic Republic of Congo will be traced through the supply chain as it travels from mine and smelter to LG Chem’s cathode plant and battery plant in South Korea, and finally into a Ford plant in the United States.
An immutable audit trail will be created on the blockchain, which will include corresponding data to provide evidence of the cobalt production from mine to end manufacturer. Participants in the network will be validated against responsible sourcing standards developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Traditionally, miners, smelters, and consumer brands rely on third-party audits to establish compliance with generally accepted industry standards. Coupled with these assessments, blockchain technology offers a network of validated participants and immutable data that can
6. The Uses of Cobalt in the Field of Feed Additives
Cobalt deficiency in animals, especially ruminants, can cause diseases such as decreased digestive capacity and anemia, so trace cobalt is widely added to animal feed.
7. The Uses of Cobalt in the Field of Catalyst and Adhesives
Cobalt compounds can be used as catalysts in the petrochemical industry and as adhesives in the rubber tire industry.
Thank you for reading our article and we hope it can help you to have a better understanding of the uses of cobalt. If you want to know more about the cobalt or other refractory metals, you can visit Advanced Refractory Metals (ARM) for more information.
Headquartered in Lake Forest, California, USA, ARM is a leading manufacturer & supplier of refractory metals across the world, providing customers with high-quality refractory metal such as tungsten, molybdenum, tantalum, rhenium, titanium, and zirconium at a very competitive price.