Molybdenum possesses unique properties which make it desirable for use in a number of manufacturing industries. Its most useful characteristic is its high melting point, 2610° C. In practical operation, this high performance material can work as a load-bearing material in industrial furnaces at temperatures ranging up to 1900° C. The metal oxidizes readily above 600° C in air, therefore, a vacuum, reducing (hydrogen), or inert furnace atmosphere is required.
In addition to its high temperature strength, Molybdenum sheet, wire, plate and other moly products exhibit excellent thermal and electrical conductivity and low vapor pressure at elevated temperatures. Such properties, along with high temperature strength, indicate the use of moly in special lighting and electronic products. Other characteristics of interest to industrial users are its low coefficient of thermal expansion and resistance to corrosion by acids and such molten metals as lead, magnesium, mercury and zinc.
Other typical end uses for molybdenum products are high temperature furnace tooling, fixtures and heat shields. Also, moly-firing boats of folded, welded and riveted construction are used in processing alumina ceramics as well as uranium oxide nuclear fuel pellets. In the semiconductor, electronics and lighting industries, moly has such varied application as: silicon rectifier mounts (diode heat sinks), glass-to-metal sealed parts, grids, wire and rod support components for power tubes and mandrels for tungsten lamp filament production.