graduate

Molybdenum


Photograph of molybdenum wafers

Wikimedia Commons

Molybdenum is a hard, gray metal, atomic number 42, that is chemically similar to tungsten and is used for some of the same purposes. It is also used in high-strength steels and to improve the hardness of low-carbon steels. The latter is useful for producing weldable armor, although this technique was not fully developed until after the war. Tool steels contained up to 9.5% molybdenum. Molybdenum sulphide is a valuable high-temperature lubricant.

Molybdenum is a byproduct of tungsten and copper mining and is moderately expensive ($0.69 a pound in 1941.) The most important source of molybdenum was the Climax mine in Colorado, which produced 66% of the world's output, while U.S. copper mines recovered another 28% as a byproduct. Japan's supply was extremely limited, but Japan stockpiled the metal prior to war and also substituted tungsten from China.

Molybdenum mines in the Pacific

Robinson

References

Miller (2007)


Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional