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Main application fields of tantalum and niobium

Electronic industry: the compact oxide film generated on the surface of tantalum metal has the property of one-way conductive valve metal, which is suitable for the production of highly reliable and long-life capacitors. It is widely used in military equipment and high-tech fields, such as missiles, radars, televisions, electronic computers and mobile phones. In 2000, 24 billion tantalum capacitors were produced worldwide.

Ii. Iron and steel industry: 85% ~ 90% of niobium in the world is used in iron and steel production in the form of ferroniobium. Niobium is the best microalloying element in steel. When 0.1% alloying element is added, the yield strength (N/mm2) of the steel is increased to: niobium 118, vanadium 71.5, molybdenum 40, manganese 17.5 and titanium 0.In practice, the yield strength of steel can be increased by more than 30% by adding 0.03% ~ 0.05% Nb. As an alloying element, niobium is mainly used in the production of stainless steel and high-strength low-alloy steel (HSLA), widely used in oil and gas pipelines, automobile industry, shipbuilding, railway transportation, construction industry, heavy machinery and port construction sectors.

Iii. Atomic energy industry: niobium has the advantages of high melting point, corrosion resistance and relatively small thermal neutron capture cross section, etc., which are suitable for the production of casings and superheaters for uranium heat release elements of reactors.

Petroleum and chemical industries: niobium and tantalum are excellent structural materials for chemical equipment because of their high corrosion resistance, good strength and processing plasticity. Mainly used in inorganic acid production (nitric acid, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid), petroleum refining equipment.

Aerospace industry: niobium and tantalum thermo-strength alloys have good thermo-strength, thermal resistance and processing properties, and are widely used in the manufacturing of components for aero-engines and gas turbine blades. Niobium alloys are used in the hot parts of almost all jet fighter engines in the United States.

Hard alloy: tantalum carbide, second only to diamond in hardness, is an important additive to hard alloy. Tantalum carbide is widely used in machining, automobile industry and petroleum geological drilling tools.

Superconducting materials: some niobium alloys and compounds with high superconducting transition temperatures are used in the manufacturing of various industrial superconductors, such as superconducting generators, accelerators, high-power magnets, superconducting magnetic energy storage devices, and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging equipment.

Medical field: tantalum and niobium have good biocompatibility and resistance to physiological corrosion. Tantalum and niobium are used in the manufacture of bone plates, skull plates, bone screws, dental implants, surgical instruments, etc.
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