National Pump and energy


  • Chromium
  • Mines Producing Chromium

Chromium oxide was used by the Chinese more that 2,000 years ago to coat weapons found among the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses sculptures in the Lintong district, Xian, in 1974. It was recognised as an element in the Western World in the red crystalline mineral, crocoite, in 1971 and was first used as a pigment. Chromium metal was isolated in 1979 by Frenchman, Louis Nicolas Vauquelin. Since that time small amounts for free chromium have been found in rare minerals. Commercial chromium is obtained from chromite ore which is actually iron chromium oxide. Its name is derived from the Greek word for colour because of its compounds having intense colours.

Chromium Metal is Highly Valued

Chromium metal is highly valued because of its hardness and resistance to corrosion. It is also able to make steel resistant to dis-colourisation and corrosion by mixing it with steel during its manufacturing process to produce what is commonly known as stainless steel. This use of chromium, along with electroplating, makes up for 85 percent of its commercial use in today\'s market. Chromium compounds make up the remaining 15 percent. In large amounts it can be toxic to the human body.

Remarkable Magnetic Characteristics

Chromium has remarkable magnetic characteristics and it is the only elemental solid that displays anti-ferromagnetic ordering at room temperature. and above 38 degrees Celsius it transforms itself into a paramagnetic state (when certain materials are attracted by an outside magnetic field).

Chromium Forms its own Protection When Exposed to air

When chromium metal is exposed to air it forms a thin protective oxide surface only a few atoms thick. This protective layer is quite dense but prevents the oxygen in the air getting through to the underlying material. Without this protection oxygen can get into plain carbon steel and iron and cause rusting. The protective oxide layer on chromium can be removed with a strong reducing agent. When this occurs the chromium metal can be dissolved in weak acids.

Uses of Chromium

  • Electroplating for appearance ,or for wear resistance. For decorative purposes only a thin layer of chromium is applied to a steel surface , a thicker layer is used for hard wearing surfaces
  • For hard wearing purposes such as high speed tools. An alloy of three to five percent chromium is used
  • Corrosion proof metal alloys such as stainless steel. Chromium is added to iron, usually in amounts over 11 percent
  • Yellow pigments in paint
  • Chromium oxides to produce green colourings. This green colour is used in the making of glass and in ceramics as a glaze. It also has uses in colouring cladding material, IR reflective paint and on military vehicles to give them a green leaf colouring

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