Cobalt is a brittle, hard
metal, resembling iron and nickel in appearance. It has a metallic
permeability of about two thirds that of iron. Cobalt tends to exist as
a mixture of two allotropes over a wide temperature range. The
transformation is sluggish and accounts in part for the wide variation
in reported data on physical properties of cobalt.
Cobalt is a naturally occurring element found in
rocks, soil, water, plants, and animals. When found in nature cobalt is
not radioactive. There are 4 isotopes* of cobalt which are all
radioactive and created by humans, in either a linear accelerator if it
is to be used for commercial or medical purposes, or indirectly as a
by-product of nuclear reactor operations, when structural materials such
as steel are exposed to neutron radiation.
- COBALT (Claus Oxygen Burner Air Liquide Technology) is a new primary
burner for Sulfar Recovery Units (Claus Units) developed by Air Liquide
for improved ammonia destruction and increased flexibility.
- The cobalt market is dynamic but small in comparison with other base
metals. Consumers purchase cobalt through negotiated agreements, bids
and open markets from producers, traders and to a lesser degree,
government stockpiles and private inventories.
- Cobalt consumption in 1995 was only 24,000 tonnes, but grew to
55,000 tonnes in 2005, or a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.6%
for the 10-year period
- Cobalt is also used in other magnetic steels and stainless
steels, and in alloys used in jet turbines and gas turbine generators.
The metal is used in electroplating because of its appearance, hardness,
and resistance to oxidation.
- 60Co is used in many common industrial applications, such as in
levelling devices, thickness gauges, and in radiotherapy in hospitals.
Large sources of 60Co are increasingly used for sterilisation of spices
and certain foods by a process that is sometimes called cold
- Cobalt Salts of the higher carboxylic acids are used to accelerate
drying in oil-based paints, varnishes and inks.
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