Molybdenum Powder

Molybdenum powder is a versatile material with unique properties that make it ideal for various industrial applications. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of molybdenum powder, including its composition, characteristics, manufacturing process, applications, and more.

Overview of Molybdenum Powder

Molybdenum powder is a powder form of molybdenum metal. It is silvery-white in color and consists of small molybdenum particles that can range in size from 1 to 100 microns.

Key properties that distinguish molybdenum powder include:

  • High melting point of 2,623°C making it refractory
  • Excellent thermal conductivity for heat dissipation
  • Low thermal expansion coefficient minimizing distortion
  • Resistance to corrosion in acidic and alkaline environments
  • Ability to absorb gases like hydrogen
  • Strength and hardness even at high temperatures

These useful traits allow molybdenum powder to serve niche roles across electronics, chemicals, metallurgy, glass, and other sectors.

molybdenum powder

Composition of Molybdenum Powder

Commercially available molybdenum powder contains a minimum purity of 99% molybdenum by weight. The main impurities are trace amounts of metals like iron, nickel, chromium, and silicon.

Element Composition (%)
Molybdenum ≥ 99
Oxygen ≤ 0.05
Nitrogen ≤ 0.05
Carbon ≤ 0.01
Silicon ≤ 0.01
Nickel ≤ 0.004
Chromium ≤ 0.002
Iron ≤ 0.002

High purity grades exceeding 99.9% are also produced. These have stricter control on permissible contaminants tailored to specific end uses.

Characteristics of Molybdenum Powder

Molybdenum powder packs unique performance traits stemming from molybdenum’s inherent metallurgical properties.

Physical Properties

Property Specification
Color Silver-white metallic
Density 10.22 g/cm<sup>3</sup>
Melting Point 2,623°C
Thermal Conductivity 138 W/(m·K)
Electrical Resistivity 53 nΩ·m
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion 4.8 μm/(m·K)

Mechanical Properties

As a refractory metal, molybdenum retains its impressive strength, hardness and creep resistance well beyond the working range of common metals.

Property Value
Tensile Strength 560 MPa
Yield Strength 470 MPa
Elongation 38%
Microhardness 2,200 HV

Reactivity and Corrosion Resistance

Molybdenum exhibits excellent corrosion resistance and chemical compatibility owing to a protective oxide outer layer. This allows it to withstand highly acidic or alkaline conditions.

It does not oxidize in air below 600°C. But above this temperature range, it actively scavenges oxygen, sulfur and carbon compounds. This oxygen absorption ability is harnessed in thermal processing applications.

Overall molybdenum performs well against oxidation and scaling wear mechanisms.

Manufacturing Process for Molybdenum Powder

Molybdenum powder is commercially manufactured from molybdenum ores using various metallurgical and powder processing routes.

1. Extraction from Molybdenite Ore

Molybdenite (MoS2) is the only viable ore source for molybdenum metal production. Concentrates with a high MoS2 content over 85% undergo roasting or pressure leaching to extract crude molybdenum as MoO3.

2. Purification to Technical Grade

Impurities in the raw molybdic oxide are removed through sublimation or chemical treatment. This yields a technical grade MoO3 purity of approximately 99.95%.

3. Hydrogen Reduction

The purified MoO3 is converted into molybdenum metal powder by reduction reaction with hydrogen gas at 700-1100°C.

2 MoO3 + 3 H2 → 2 Mo + 3 H2O

This intermediate molybdenum powder may still contain some oxygen and nitrogen impurities that need to be removed.

4. Additional Refining

For high purity grades, additional steps like electron beam melting in vacuum or thermal deoxidation in hydrogen atmosphere help achieve the desired chemistry and cleanliness.

The powder is then classified into specific particle sizes through crushing, milling and sieving processes. It may also undergo compaction into various pressed and sintered forms.

molybdenum powder

Applications of Molybdenum Powder

Filaments and Heating Elements

Molybdenum’s refractory nature, thermal properties and oxidation resistance make it ideal for high temperature heating elements and furnace components.

It is most commonly used as winding wire or heating filaments in applications like:

  • Electric heating systems
  • High intensity discharge (HID) lamps
  • Glass melting furnaces
  • Sputtering targets
  • Vacuum tube electrodes
Application Operating Temperatures
Glass melting 1400-1700°C
Diffusion furnaces 1000-1400°C
High temp furnaces Upto 2000°C

Powder Metallurgy Products

Molybdenum powder serves as an alloy additive to enhance hot strength, creep resistance, corrosion protection and thermal properties of ferrous and nickel superalloys.

It also aids sinterability during liquid phase sintering. Parts made from Mo prealloyed powders include:

  • Turbine engine & rocket nozzles
  • Valve guides
  • Hot forging dies
  • Nuclear fuel claddings

Ceramic Additive

Molybdenum provides oxidative protection for graphite tooling used in the processing of silicon wafers for chip manufacturing.

It’s also utilized in molybdenum di-silicide (MoSi2) heating elements operating beyond typical metallic temperatures.

Lubricant Additive

Organic molybdenum compounds like molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) are premier solid lubricants used as anti-friction, anti-wear additives. They form low-friction films protecting moving interfaces even in high pressure, vacuum or radiation environments.

Sizes Standards and Grades of Molybdenum Powder

Molybdenum powder is commercially available in a wide range of particle sizes, mostly ranging from 1 to 100 microns:

Particle Size Distribution

Grade Mesh Size Microns
Coarse -100 mesh 149 microns max
Medium -325 mesh 44 microns max
Fine -400 mesh 38 microns max
Very Fine -635 mesh 20 microns max
Ultrafine -2500 mesh 5 microns max

The common grade specifications as per ASTM standards are:

Molybdenum Powder Grades

Grade Purity Mo % Particle Size Oxygen ppm
Grade R 99.5% -325 mesh 700
Grade T 99.7% -325 mesh 700
Grade A 99.9% -325 mesh 100
Grade B 99.95% -635 mesh 10
Grade C 99.99% -635 mesh 10

High purity grades beyond 99.95% purity use more stringent contamination limits to control individual and total metallic impurities.

Global Manufacturers & Suppliers

Some of the major molybdenum powder producers globally include:

Key Molybdenum Powder Manufacturers

Company Location
Freeport-McMoRan USA
CXMET China
Molibdenos y Metales S.A Chile
China Molybdenum Co., Ltd China
JDC Molybdenum Co. China

Pricing

Molybdenum powder prices fluctuate based on market dynamics and purity grade. Indicative pricing ranges are:

Grade Price Range
99% $25 – $35 per kg
99.9% $35 – $50 per kg
99.95% $50 – $90 per kg
99.99% $100 – $150 per kg

Contact leading molybdenum powder suppliers for up-to-date price quotes based on your target purity, particle size distribution and annual volume requirements.

Pros & Cons of Molybdenum Powder

Pros

  • Outstanding high temperature strength
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • High thermal conductivity
  • Controlled oxygen scavenging ability
  • Alloying addition to enhance properties
  • Serves critical roles not easily replaced

Cons

  • Brittle at room temperature requiring alloying
  • Prone to embrittlement by impurities
  • Relatively rare and expensive
  • Challenging to machine in powder form

Comparison With Tungsten Powder

Both molybdenum and tungsten have similar refractory properties. But tungsten exhibits higher temperature capabilities in terms of melting point and recrystallization temperature.

However, molybdenum offers better electrical and thermal conductivity. It also absorbs oxygen more readily at high temperatures whereas tungsten is relatively inert.

This gives molybdenum unique functionality in applications where controlled oxidation is necessary. It also makes molybdenum more amenable for powder processing routes.

Molybdenum Powder vs. Tungsten Powder

Parameter Molybdenum Powder Tungsten Powder
Melting Point 2,623°C 3,400°C
Density 10.22 g/cc 19.25 g/cc
Thermal Conductivity 138 W/m·K 173 W/m·K
Electrical Resistivity 53 nΩ·m 52 nΩ·m
Oxidation Resistance Good Excellent
Oxygen Scavenging High at ≥ 600°C Minimal
Typical Pricing $25-150 per kg $20-50 per kg

This positions molybdenum and tungsten powders as complementary materials for high temperature applications.

molybdenum powder

FAQ

What is molybdenum powder used for?

Molybdenum powder has applications as heating filaments and electrodes in high temperature furnaces and lighting, powder metallurgy additive to enhance hot strength and corrosion resistance of alloys, lubricant solid lubricant additive, and substrate for electronics and optics.

Is molybdenum powder safe to handle?

Like most powdered metals, it may cause irritation or sensitivity upon repeated exposures especially when inhaled or ingested. Appropriate precautions should be taken during storage and handling including ensuring adequate ventilation and respiratory protection.

What is the difference between molybdenum powder and molybdenum disulfide?

Molybdenum powder refers to pure elemental molybdenum in a powder form. Molybdenum disulfide is an inorganic compound containing only molybdenum and sulfur. It has a layered structure giving it lubricating properties and graphite-like behaviour.

What is the typical density of molybdenum powder?

The theoretical density of pure molybdenum powder works out to be around 10.22 g/cm. But commercially available powders have lower densities between 70-90% based on factors like particle size distribution and shape. Pressure compaction and sintering can be used to increase powder density up to 95% of theoretical.

Is molybdenum powder ferromagnetic or paramagnetic?

Molybdenum is a paramagnetic metal, meaning it is attracted slightly by magnetic forces. But it does not retain magnetization once the field is removed. This makes it suitable for applications requiring minimal ferromagnetism compared to ferritic alloys.

Conclusion

With its versatile mix of refractory, conductive, protective and lubricative characteristics, molybdenum powder provides niche functionality across several industries that cannot be easily substituted.

It serves critical roles in electrical heating systems, high performance alloys, and solid lubricant additives that underpin modern manufacturing, transportation and processing industries.

Though relatively more expensive than its sister refractory material tungsten, ongoing advances in extraction processes and the lack of viable alternatives ensures molybdenum powder retains a strong market position thanks to its unique materials science advantages.

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Home » Molybdenum Powder

Molybdenum Powder

We have extensive experience for molybdenum and tungsten powders for unique customer applications of mill products, electrical
contacts, sputtering targets, thermal spray coatings, metal injection molded products, 3D printing/additive manufacturing, laser
cladding and others. We provides spherical molybdenum powder and irregular molybdenum powder from ultra-fine to coarse particle size.

Purity: 99%, 99.5%, 99.8%, 99.9%, or customized
Shape: spherical or irregular
Particle size: FSSS 1-10um, 0-25um, 15-53um, 53-105um, 53-150um, or sieve as required
Process: electrolytic method, plasma spheroidized, silk atomized

Common Mo powder from Truer:
Grade Shape Purity Particle Size Oxygen Process
SMo25 Spherical >99.9% 5-25um <300ppm Plasma Spheroidization
SMo45 Spherical >99.9% 15-45um <300ppm Plasma Spheroidization
SMo53 Spherical >99.9% 15-53um <300ppm Plasma Spheroidization
SMo105 Spherical >99.9% 53-105um <300ppm Plasma Spheroidization
SMoN Spherical >/ 100um <8% Silk atomized
SMo10 Spherical >99.9% 1-10um <0.1% Silk atomized
FMo Irregular >99.5% FSSS 1-10um <800ppm Reduction or Electrolytic Method
Morphology of Mo powder:
metal powder 1
Electrolytic Method (FSSS 3um)
metal powder 2
Plasma Spheroidization (15-53um)

Our powders are supplied with a certificate of analysis containing chemical composition, particle size distribution, and other information, such as SEM morphology, flow characteristics and apparent density, also is available upon request.

If you have a special requirements for purity and particle size, Just contact us and we will try to customize the powders for you.

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