What are the different types of vanadium metal?

Vanadium has the atomic number 23 and is identified by the symbol V.

Various types of vanadium alloys are industrially produced for a number of different applications. Vanadium is most commonly bonded to iron in various steel alloys, but it is also bonded to materials such as titanium and gallium. Metal vanadium is used for its high strength and its ability to maintain this strength at high temperatures. Some vanadium alloys also have other useful properties, such as superconductivity and corrosion resistance.

Vanadium is a silvery gray metal. It is element 23 on the periodic table and its most common form has an atomic weight of 50.9. It is soft and ductile, with a melting point of 3470°F (1910°C or 2183°K). It is never found pure in nature and is extracted for human use from minerals such as vanadinite, magnetite and carotite, usually in the form of vanadium oxide (V 2 0 5 ), also called vanadium pentoxide. It has two naturally occurring isotopes, the vast majority being vanadium in the form of vanadium-51, which is stable, and a small percentage in the form of the radioactive isotope vanadium-50.

A ferro-vanadium alloy made from at least 35% vanadium is called ferrovanadium. Ferrovanadium is used in the production of steels made from vanadium and iron, the main use of metallic vanadium. Sometimes these steel alloys also include other alloying metals such as nickel, aluminum and chromium.

Vanadium gives steel greater strength and better performance at high temperatures. High carbon vanadium steels have very small amounts of vanadium, about 0.15% to 0.25%. High speed tool steels can have a much higher metallic vanadium content, up to 14.5%. Vanadium-containing steel alloys are often used in applications that require strength and heat resistance, such as cutting tools and engine parts.

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Vanadium is also used in titanium alloys, often in combination with metallic aluminum. These alloys, which generally contain about 4% vanadium, are expensive, but can have excellent strength and toughness, maintained at very high temperatures. They are also lightweight and corrosion resistant. Vanadium-containing titanium alloys are commonly used for aerospace and military applications that require high heat resistance, such as in engines and turbines, and in high-performance automobile engines. They also have high biocompatibility, meaning they have no toxic effects on living tissue or cause harmful immune system responses, and so are often used in implanted medical devices.

Gallium-alloyed vanadium is a superconducting alloy used in superconducting magnets. A superconductor is a material that conducts electricity without electrical resistance at very low temperatures. Vanadium-gallium becomes superconducting at a temperature of only 14.2° Kelvin above absolute zero (-434.1°F or -258.9°C). Vanadium-gallium alloys may also contain small amounts of other elements such as niobium, tin or platinum.

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