Cobalt alloys are resistant to wear, heat, and corrosion. This makes castings made of cobalt-based alloys valuable in various industries, including medical, aerospace, automotive, military, and other applications where high strength is essential and oxidation is an issue.
A passivating oxide naturally covers and guards the strong, glossy, silver-gray metal cobalt against oxidation, which causes rust. Similar to nickel, only chemically mixed forms of cobalt (natural alloys) can be found in nature. However, reductive smelting can be used to create pure cobalt.
Orthopedic implants that do not degrade over time are made using cobalt-based investment castings. Due to their strength and lubricity, cobalt alloys are used in high friction bearing settings or products with an anti-galling quality. Moreover, this type of alloy displays good edge and thermal fatigue resistance in high-temperature settings like turbocharger turbines and jet aircraft turbines.
There are many cobalt alloys, each with special qualities and advantages. The following are the most popular air-melted cobalt alloys:
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