Why is vanadium important?

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Why is vanadium important?

Vanadium is a transition metal belonging to group VB in the periodic table. It has symbol as ‘V’ and has atomic number as 23. Its atomic mass is 50.9415. This metal was found by Spanish-Mexican metallurgist, Andres Manuel del Rio in the year 1801. The importance of this metal was expressed by Nils Gabriel Sefstrom, who was a chemist from Sweden.

Vanadium is mostly utilized now in making alloys. The alloys will have very specific and beneficial properties than the individual metals. For instance, Vanadium steel cannot easily get worn out compared to that of ordinary steel. Recently vanadium is mostly used in making batteries. Vanadium made batteries is mostly applicable in cars. It was found that other minerals which are combination of more than one metal are present with vanadium as one of their components. Some of them are roscoelite, carnotite, patronite, and vanadinite. Vanadium is also available in iron ores and phosphate rocks. Vanadium is extensively used as additive in steel. It is known to impart rust resistance to the steel.

Vanadium and its mixture of metals are observed to be toxic to humans. Vanadium steel is also used in axles, bicycle frames, gears, engines, springs, missile cases, jet-engine housings, nuclear reactor parts, superconductive magnets (vanadium-gallium mixture) and crankshafts. The foil made of vanadium can be utilized in attaching steel with titanium. The compounds having vanadium as component are used for dyeing and fabric printing. Another compound of vanadium called as vanadium pentoxide can be used in making ceramics as well as used in the form of chemical catalyst.

Aluminum is also mixed with vanadium to form an alloy which has aluminum to vanadium ratio as 2:3. This alloy is combined with titanium alloy in making jet engines and high speed air frames. The high speed tools and surgical instruments made of steel are composed of vanadium as their component. The application of vanadium in aerospace industry as a mixture with titanium alloys cannot be replaced by any other metal, as vanadium is considered as acceptable component of them.

Author: Hari M

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