Chrome metal, also known as chromium metal, or simply chromium, has a chrome content close to 100%, and very small amounts of trace elements such as aluminium, silicon and iron.
chrome metal typically contains more than 99.5% chrome
Characteristics of chrome metal
Chrome metal is an essential ingredient in various industrial materials and superalloys, because of its unique characteristics:
Stable under normal conditions
Resistant to high temperature
Resistant to chemical corrosion
Safely and easily handled
Chrome metal applications
Chromium metal used in superalloys improves mechanical resistance, gives anti-corrosion properties and resistance to elevated extreme temperatures. With these unique properties, when chromium metal is added to a super-alloy, it enables very demanding applications such as aerospace turbo reactors, land-based gas turbines, oil and gas industries, medical alloys, nuclear, chemical and automotive industries.
Chrome metal also demonstrates outstanding properties as a thin film material in the electronic industry. It has become vital in the production of computer hard disks (both as an under layer and as a constituent of the magnetic memory media), photo masks, integrated circuits, and liquid crystal displays.
In the nuclear industry, chrome-containing superalloys are used in the construction of vapour tubes. These tubes are the only interface between the primary and secondary circuits in a pressurised water reactor. They are exposed to extreme conditions such as constant temperature at more than 200 C° as well as high pressure.
Production of chrome metal
Chrome metal is mostly produced by aluminothermic reduction of chrome oxide to produce aluminothermic chrome metal.
The aluminothermic process was the first to be developed. Using this method, about 1.6 tonnes of chrome oxide are needed to produce one tonne of chrome metal.
Chrome oxide, aluminium powder and additives are required for manufacturing chrome metal using the aluminothermic process. Besides chrome metal, the aluminothermic process also produces slag as a by-product, which can be used to manufacture:
- Refractory castables and bricks for steel works, cement kilns, glass production furnaces and incinerators
- Dry-shake floor hardeners
- High skid resistance road surface dressings
- Slag additives for stainless steel production.
Where chrome metal is used
For all the latest market data on the global chrome and ferrochromium markets, as well as chrome ore resources, visit our Market Insights page.
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Photo credits: DCX CHROME SAS – Delachaux Group