Friday, November 2, 2012

Niobium APEX Mineral

Niobium (Nb #41) is the next element on the periodic table for my APEX mineral collection.   

Wikipedia Niobium
Niobium Minerals - There are many Niobium minerals.
Columbite-(Fe) (Fe++Nb2O6) with 55% Niobium is the best choice for APEX Mineral.
Niobium and Tantalum are so similar that they were long considered the same element called Columbium.  The differences were finally established in the 20th century and the official name of Niobium was only settled in 1949.

Niobium is one of the 5 Refractory metals.  



  • Melting point above 2000 °C
  • High hardness at room temperature 
  • Chemically inert 
  • High density
  • Powder metallurgy instead of machining to create manufactured parts
Niobium and its minerals were unknown until the 19th century.
Niobium is used mostly in alloys.  Only .1% Niobium improves the strength of the steel.  Niobium is used in commemorative coins to create various colors [blue, green, brown, purple, violet, or yellow] by applying a Niobium oxide layer. 
Zirconium has no known biological role.  It is frequently used in jewelry and medical implants because it is hypoallergenic.