Molybdenum can be used to alloy with steel making it stronger and more highly resistant to heat because molybdenum has such a high melting temperature. The alloys are used to make such things as rifle barrels and filaments for light bulbs. The iron and steel industries account for more than 75% of molybdenum consumption.
The two largest molybdenum uses are as an alloy in stainless steels and in alloy steels-these two uses consume about 60% of the molybdenum needs in the United States. Stainless steels include the strength and corrosion-resistant requirements for water distribution systems, food handling equipment, chemical processing equipment, home, hospital, and laboratory requirements. Alloy steels include the stronger and tougher steels needed to make automotive parts, construction equipment, gas transmission pipes.
Other majo molybdenum uses as an alloy include: Tool steels, for things like bearings, dies, machining components; cast irons, for steel mill rolls, auto parts, crusher parts; super alloys for use in furnace parts, gas turbine parts, chemical processing equipment.
Molybdenum also is an important material for the chemicals and lubricant industries. Molybdenum uses as catalysts, paint pigments, corrosion inhibitors, smoke and flame retardants, dry lubricant (molybdenum disulfide) on space vehicles and resistant to high loads and temperatures. As a pure metal, molybdenum uses because of its high melting temperatures (4,730 F.) as filament supports in light bulbs, metal-working dies and furnace parts. Molybdenum cathodes are used in special electrical applications. It can also be used as a catalyst in some chemical applications.
General molybdenum uses are in machinery (35%), for electrical applications (15%), in transportation (15%), in chemicals (10%), in the oil and gas industry (10%), and assorted others (15%).
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