Sheet, strip, foil made of niobium
Niobium in a pure state is malleable. In cold state, it can be rolled in very thin strips (thickness is up to 0.01 mm) without intermediate annealing. Strength level of this metal at a temperature of 20−800°С not much changes as long as its ultimate elongation. Electromechanical properties of this metal, super refractory quality (melting point is 2468°С) give a possibility to manufacture cathodes, anodes, grids of electric-vacuum tubes out of niobium strip. Work of electron liberation is minimum (4.01 ev — electronic emission) in comparison to applicable in electric-vacuum devices refractory analogous elements — molybdenum and tungsten. Niobium possesses high temperature of superconducting transition.
Physical characteristics of Nb
|Atomic (molal) weight mole/h||92.9|
|Oxidation rate||5, 4, 3, 2, 1|
|Melting heat kJ/mole||26.6|
|Heat conductivity K [V/m*K]||53.7|
|Evaporation heat kJ/mole||680|
Manufacture of niobium sheet, strip
In manufacture of these mill-products, there is used an ingot obtained in with a help of powder metallurgy. Metal is baked in powder state in more appropriate forms for processing. Drawing of ingot into band is performed with a help of extrusion — punching through matrix flat-type gap of flexible bar. After that, band is annealed in vacuum furnace and cooled. For strip manufacture, working temperature usually exceeds 1500 °C. Finished product is cooled up to a temperature of 780−800°С. As a result, there forms a strip with uniform crystallite (0.25 mm of thickness). Then, it is rolled to necessary sizes.
Sheet, strip made of niobium is applied in mechanical and instrument engineering, military-industrial complex, air-space techniques. Niobium serves as a basis of fitting for refining and chemical industry as long as it is resistant to effect of salt, nitric, phosphorus, sulfuric, organic acids of different concentration up to a temperature of 150 °C.
Towards the end of the XXth century, there are appeared such valuable niobium properties as an absence of interaction with uranium at a temperature up to 1100 °C, high heat conductivity, minimum induced radioactivity and tight capture cross-section of thermal-neutrons. Such properties allowed niobium to become in line with beryllium, aluminium, zirconium in nuclear energetics. Flat niobium serves as a basis of container for storage of radioactive wastes.
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