At present, rare earth elements have become a mandatory part of many high-tech gadgets. Although they are used in little quantity in different production processes, yet their unique heat resistant, phosphorescent, magnetic, and neutron-absorbing qualities create magical effects in the final products. You can observe their magnificent features and unique functionality in the items like an LCD screen, batteries, lighting systems, digital cameras, colored glasses, smartphones, and electronic gadgets, etc.
Let us discuss the features and utility of the top 6 earth elements which are found rarely or in scarcity on the crust of the earth.
Praseodymium or Pr with 59 number in the atomic table, is a silvery ductile metal. It belongs to the lanthanide group and reacts in air. Due to its chemical, morganatic and electrical features, it is widely used for different purposes such as:
· To create powerful magnets in electric generators and motors.
· As an alloy metal to create high strength aircraft machinery.
· To give glasses a yellow color.
· To make visors for welders.
Silver in color gadolinium belongs to the lanthanide category and ductile. It resists to the high-temperature alloys and is used for neutron therapies. This wonderful element is commonly used in MRI, X-ray, television screens, and refrigeration systems. Through its fluorescent properties, magnets and electronic components are being created in various varieties. The metallurgic properties of the gadolinium rod are beyond comparison as just 1% of its quantity can improve the resistance to high-temperature oxidation of chromium, iron, and such other alloys. A good number of its applications are seen in nuclear energy and medical fields.
Discovered in 1879, Samarium is a hard silver metal of the lanthanide category. It has derived its name from the mineral samarskite. Its density similes zinc and ignites in the presence of air. This element is used mainly in samarium-cobalt magnets and organic reactions. Samarium oxide is utilized in the formation of ceramic and glass to imbibe infrared radiations.
With a symbol Ce and atomic number 58, Cerium is a ductile metal. It belongs to the lanthanide group and is highly reactive to the atmosphere. It is often used in the converters of vehicles. So, they can move easily in a high-temperature zone. This element is also utilized in the crude oil refining process.
Silver-white in color, lanthanum is a ductile soft element. It reacts and burns quickly in the presence of oxygen. This element is used in cameras, optical glasses, and telescope lenses. Lanthanum is exceptionally useful in carbon lightings such as cinema projection, stadium lights, studio illumination, etc.
This element is used to create high power magnets for loudspeakers and hard drives. Such magnetics are also utilized for environment-friendly inventions such as hybrid cars, wind turbines, etc. Apart from this, it is also available in pellets, granules, ingot, several discs, etc.
Today, rare-earth elements have become an essential part of more than two hundred products with a broad range of applications. Besides, high-tech devices play a significant role in defense applications also. Their usage in electronic displays, lasers, sonar, and laser systems help different countries worldwide defense themselves from mishappenings and warfare. Also, developed nations are utilizing these marvelous elements to make new inventions and discoveries. Hopefully, the functionalities and applicabilities of these magnificent ingredients of nature will improve more in the future for the welfare of humankind.