Niobium is a silver coloured metal which is generally found in conjunction with tantalum, the two elements being separated by fractional crystallisation of their respective fluoro-complexes. As a pure metal, is very reactive and forms an extremely stable oxide when exposed to air which enhances its corrosion resistance. Niobium will react with a variety of non-metals at elevated temperatures. Niobium and its alloys have high melting points and are, therefore, used in high temperature engineering products (for use at temperatures in excess of 1200°C). It is also used as an alloying agent for certain steels where it greatly improves the strength of the resulting material. Niobium also finds applications in atomic reactors due to its corrosion resistance and, when combined with either tin (Nb3Sn) or zirconium, it has a high degree of superconductivity.


1801 by C. Hatchett in London, England.

20 ppm in the earth’s crust.

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Atomic number 41 Clip
Atomic / Molecular Weight 92.9064 gmol-1Clip
Density 8.57 kgm-3Clip
Crystal Structure bcc Clip
Lattice constant 330 fmClip
Melting Point 2750 KClip
Boiling Point 5173 KClip
Linear expansivity 0.0000073 K-1Clip
Specific heat capacity 264 Jkg-1K-1Clip
Thermal conductivity 53 Wm-1K-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (longitudinal bulk waves) 5068 ms-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (Irrotational waves) 3497 ms-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (Shear waves) 2092 ms-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (Rayleigh waves) 1970 ms-1Clip
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See also: Periodic Table.

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Subjects: Chemistry