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Less Common Nonferrous Metals

  • François Cardarelli

Abstract

The alkali metals are represented by the six chemical elements of the group IA(1) of Mendeleev’s periodic chart. These six elements are, in increasing atomic number: lithium (Li), sodium (Na), potassium (K), rubidium (Rb), cesium (Cs), and francium (Fr). The name alkali metals is given owing to the fact they form strong alkaline hydroxides (MOH, with M = Li, Na, K, etc.) when they combine with water (i.e., strong bases capable of neutralizing acids). The only members of the alkali metal family that are relatively abundant in the Earth’s crust are sodium and potassium. Amongst the alkali metals only lithium, sodium, and to a lesser extent potassium are widely used in industrial applications. Hence, only these three metals will be reviewed in detail in this section. Nevertheless, a short description of the main properties and industrial uses of the last three alkali metals (i.e., Rb, Cs, and Fr) will be presented at the end of the section. Some physical, mechanical, thermal, electrical, and optical properties of the five chief alkali metals (except francium which is radioactive with a short half-life) are listed in Table 3.1.

Keywords

Crevice Corrosion Tantalum Pentoxide Niobium Pentoxide Uranyle Nitrate Kroll Process 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • François Cardarelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Technology Dept.Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium Inc.Sorel-TracyCanada

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