Cobalt was first discovered by Swedish chemist Georg Brandt. A naturally-occurring element, it is most often obtained by extracting it from nickel or copper ores. Interestingly, cobalt got its name from the German “kobold,” which means goblin.
Because cobalt resembled copper ore but could not be extracted from it, popular belief at the time was that it was under the influence of a spell-casting goblin.
Today, cobalt is classified as a transition metal. A ferromagnetic material, cobalt forms alloys with iron, tin, copper, gold and antimony and is used in a wide variety of applications. Despite it’s many uses, it is not currently mined in the United States.
This fact, along with its many uses, makes it a hot commodity amongst scrap metal dealers, so you’ll never have to worry about where to sell scrap metal. About 15 percent of U.S. supplies are obtained through reclamation or scrap metal recyclers. Any newly mined cobalt must be imported.
The Chemistry of Cobalt
Cobalt is a strong, gray, ductile, and malleable metal similar in appearance to iron and nickel. Prior to WWI, cobalt was chiefly used in cobalt oxide form as an aesthetic coloring for ceramics and glass.
In today’s modern technologies, however, cobalt is valued for its strength, corrosion and wear-resistant qualities, and ability to maintain its strength at high temperatures. It is most valued when used in the production of superalloys. It has several common ores, including cobaltite, smaltite, chloranthite, and linneite.
Cobalt in Industry
Cobalt is heavily used in chemical form in the production of cathodes in rechargeable batteries as well as in petrochemical applications. It is also used in several applications in its metallic form, including:
1. High temperature alloys used in the production of turbines and jet engines.
2. Cutting and wear-resistant alloys used in various tool steels.
3. Cemented carbides for machine tools and drill bits
3. Glass-to-metal sealing alloys valued for their expansion characteristics
4. Dental and surgical alloys
5. Magnetic alloys used in the production of magnets
6. Soft magnetic alloys used in electronics
In addition, a radioactive form of cobalt is used in cancer therapies and other medical science applications.
Where to Sell Cobalt Scrap Metal
Cobalt is a valuable commodity particularly in the burgeoning electric vehicle industry, and its scrap value is highly prized. If you need to know where to sell scrap metal like cobalt, iron, or steel, you can find professional metal recovery experts online.
Our team comes to your facility and buys your secondary scrap material by the lot. Cobalt can be retrieved in many forms from coatings used in the thermal spray industry to the reclamation of sludge from rinse water used in plating operations. It can be found in scrap tool steels and rechargeable batteries. It is prevalent in the chemical and petroleum industries.
Professional scrap buyers like Houston-based Republic Alloys provide a vital service in keeping metals and metal alloys out of landfills. They are a valuable resource for getting unwanted metals back in circulation and working for the economy.