Cerium, Physical and Chemical Properties
Cerium is the most abundant rare-earth element and exceeds in abundance tin, cobalt, and lead. It is separated from other rare-earth elements by oxidation of solutions resulting from attack of bastnaesite or monazite. The most important uses of misch metal or cerium are their ability to react with oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, arsenic, bismuth, and antimony, thus reducing the effects of these elements on the properties of the metals.
Misch metal or cerium-containing master alloys are added to cast iron to improve ductility, toughness, and the microstructure. Cerium allows graphite to form nodules, causing nucleation in spheroidal and vermicular cast iron, and neutralizes the harmful effect of the tramp elements. Addition of misch metal to copper alloys improves tensile strength and deep-drawing properties. The heat resistance and ductility of aluminum conductor cables are improved without any significant decrease in electrical conductivity. Lighter flint alloy consists basically...
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