Introduction

COBALT POWDER is used primarily in the P/M industry as an alloying element in the production of permanent magnets, superalloys (high-temperature, creep-resistant alloys), wear-resistant hardfacing alloys, tool and die steels, and as a binder in cemented carbides. Approximately 60% of the world production of cobalt originates in Zaire and Zambia.

Cobalt is an important material to the P/M industry due to its ability to enhance the high-temperature properties of superalloys, the cutting ability of sintered carbide and high-speed tool steels, and the toughness of high-strength steels. This article discusses the three methods of cobalt powder production: hydrometallurgical processing, reduction of oxides, and atomization. Additional references are found at the end of this article.

Gavin Freeman, Sherritt International Corp.

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