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1997 TMS Annual Meeting: Monday Abstracts


Sponsored by: SMD Refractory Metals Committee and MDMD Powder Materials Committee
Program Organizer: Dr. Boris D. Bryskin, R & D Manager, Rhenium Alloys, Inc., P.O. Box 245, Elyria, OH 44036

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Room 232C

Session Chairperson: Dr. Boris D. Bryskin, R & D Manager, Rhenium Alloys, Inc., P.O. Box 245, Elyria, OH 44036

8:30 am

WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS: Prof. Dr. Maria A. Tylkina, Baikov Institute of Metallurgy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Additional speakers names to be announced later.

9:20 am

RHENIUM SEVENTY YEARS OLD: Fathi Habashi, Department of Mining and Metallurgy, Laval University, Quebec City, Canada, GIK 7P4

Rhenium was discovered in Berlin in 1925 by Ida Tacke, Walter Noddack, and Otto Berg. It was isolated in milligram amounts by Ida Noddack (born Tacke) in 1926. The first 100 kg of the metal were produced seventy years ago from carbonaceous copper shist ore (Kupferschiefer) from the Mansfeld District in Germany. The process was so complicated and the price so high that production was discontinued until early 1950 when tungstenrhenium and molybdenumrhenium alloys were prepared. These alloys found important applications in industry that resulted in a great demand for the metal produced from the molybdenite fraction of porphyry copper ores. The early story of rhenium will be told from personal interviews with Ida Noddack (18961978).

9:45 am

RHENIUM BACKGROUND AND MARKETS: Tom A. Millensifer, Powmet, Inc., 2625 Sewell St., P.O. Box 5086, Rockford, IL 61125

Rhenium existed as a curiosity with little practical application for it's first nearly 50 years. Use was limited to a few specialty and high temperature alloy applications. In the early 1960's interest in the potential for catalytic use of Rhenium developed and by the early 1970's significant catalytic use had begun. Greater production was required. Leading development of production technology in the Western World was Kennecott Copper Corporation which originated industrial scale recovery techniques. In 1963 Shattuck Chemical in Denver, Colorado installed recovery facilities based on Kennecott's technology. The facilities were followed by recovery at Starck in Germany and Molycorp in Chili. In 1980 Duval Corporation, a subsidiary of Pennzoil, installed recovery facilities and began recovery in mid 1981. Today recovery from Molybdenite exists in the Western World in only three places with one other available but not operating at this time. Recovery from Copper is reported in Japan and Kazakhstan, and also from Copper Smelting in Jianxi Province China as well as at several Molybdenum Roaters in Russian and other areas of the CIS.

10:10 am INVITED


For a metal which is produced in quantities around 50 tons per year worldwide, it should be difficult to talk about bulk usage. However, about 90% of the rhenium produced is used for catalysts and as an alloying element in nickelcobaltbase superalloys. This paper deals with mill products based on powder metallurgy production of rhenium and molybdenumrhenium and tungstenrhenium alloys. Rhenium is a metal which workhardens very quickly in coldworking and which cannot be hotworked because of hotshortness and poor oxidation resistance. This makes plastic forming of rhenium a very delicate process. Rhenium cannot be machined using conventional methods but other means of making complicated shapes have been developed. Alloys between rhenium and tungsten and rhenium and molybdenum have their best properties at or close to the solubility limit for rhenium in each metal, which may create problems with formation of a brittle, intermetallic phase (sigma phase). However, these alloys are much easier to form using plastic hot and cold forming. They can also be formed into various shapes using regular machining methods. Means of avoiding or eliminating the negative effect of sigma phase are briefly discussed. Finally the industrial usage of mill products and assintered products of rhenium and its alloys with molybdenum and tungsten is discussed. These materials have found many challenging applications in space, defense, electronic, energy, scientific instruments and other hightech industries.

10:35 am

THE PERSPECTIVES FOR DEVELOPMENT OF RHENIUM PRODUCTION IN RUSSIA: Albert D. Besser, A.V. Peredereev, State Research Center of Russia, 13 Acad. Korolyov Street, 129515 Moscow, Russia

The rhenium's production base in Russia is based on the processing of the concentrates of the effective tungsten-molybdenum mines (Zhirkenskyi, Sorskyi, Tyrnyauzskyi) and opening up of the new ones (Bugdainskyi, Aksukskyi and others), as well as on the recovery of rhenium from the gases during the burning of the shales. The substantial content of rhenium and of some other rare components in the volcanic slags has been revealed. The extraction technology has been developed. The processing technology of the secondary rhenium-containing raw materials and of the intermediate products has been developed and realized in the industrial conditions. The technologies concerning the extraction of more than 90% of rhenium from the molybdenite concentrates following the pyro- and hydrometallurgical processes have been developed and are ready now for the industrial realization.

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