Rare earth does not refer to a specific substance, but is a general term for 17 elements of lanthanides and lanthanum and cerium in the chemical periodic table. Currently, there are 250 rare earth minerals in nature. In the industrial field, rare earth elements are known as “industrial vitamins”. At the same time, because rare earths have good physical properties such as light electromagnetics, they can be combined with other materials to form new materials with various properties and varieties, which significantly improve the quality and performance of products. Therefore, there is also the name of “industrial gold”.
In actual production, rare earth has a large effect and low dosage. It has become an important element to improve product structure, improve scientific and technological content, and promote technological progress in the industry. It has been widely applied to metallurgy, military, petrochemical, glass ceramics, agriculture and new materials field:
Rare earth has a history of application in the field of metallurgy for decades. At present, it has formed relatively mature technologies and processes. The application of rare earth in steel and non-ferrous metals is extensive and has broad application prospects.
In the military field, the addition of rare earths can significantly improve the tactical performance of the alloys used to make military machinery and missiles. In addition, rare earth can also be used as a high-tech lubricant for electronics, laser, nuclear industry, superconductivity etc, which plays a particularly important role.
In the field of petrochemical industry, rare earth can be used as a molecular sieve catalyst, which has the advantages of high activity, good selectivity and strong resistance to heavy metal poisoning; and it can play different roles depending on the type of rare earth.
Rare earth oxides or processed rare earth concentrates can be widely used as polishing powders for the polishing of optical glass, ophthalmic lenses, picture tubes, oscilloscope tubes, flat glass, plastic and metal tableware; rare earths are added to ceramic glazes and enamels. It can reduce the chipping property of glaze and make products exhibit different colors and luster, and is widely used in the ceramic industry.
The results show that rare earth elements can increase the chlorophyll content of plants, enhance photosynthesis, promote root development, and increase nutrient uptake by roots. Rare earth can also promote seed germination, increase seed germination rate and promote seedling growth. In addition to the above main functions, it also has the ability to enhance disease resistance, cold resistance and drought resistance in certain crops.
New material field
According to the type and performance of rare earths, it can be used as aerospace industrial materials, solid laser materials, high temperature thermoelectric materials, superconducting materials, raw materials for electronic equipment etc, and plays an important role in the development of new materials.
Rare earth elements are also used in a variety of digital products, including audio-visual, photography and communication digital devices, to meet the requirements of smaller, faster, lighter, longer-lasting and energy-saving products. At the same time, it has also been applied to many fields such as green energy, medical care, water purification and transportation.
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22th Oct 2018