Cobalt is a silvery-blue metal that has been used by humans for centuries. It is found naturally in the Earth’s crust and can be used for many different applications. From medical tools to electronics and even an ingredient in paint, cobalt has a wide range of uses that you may not realize! Let’s dive into some of the everyday uses of this metal.
Cobalt has a variety of medical uses, one of them being that it is frequently used as part of radiation therapy to treat cancer patients. Cobalt-60 is a radioactive isotope of cobalt that emits gamma rays which can be used to target tumors in the body without damaging healthy tissue nearby. This makes it a valuable tool for medical professionals looking to treat cancer with minimal side effects.
Cobalt is also commonly used in orthopedic implants such as hip replacements and bone screws due to its strength and durability. Its corrosion resistance also makes it an ideal choice for these types of implants, as they must withstand long-term exposure to bodily fluids. Additionally, cobalt can be found in certain heart stents and pacemakers, as well as some dental implants.
Cobalt is highly sought after in the electronics industry because it has magnetic properties that make it well-suited for use in magnets and hard drives. It’s also often used in batteries due to its ability to store energy efficiently over time without losing too much power or becoming corroded by exposure to air or water. Additionally, cobalt can be found in catalytic converters, which are used by cars and trucks around the world to reduce emissions from their engines.
Beyond medical and industrial uses, cobalt also has more common applications, such as being an ingredient in paint pigments and glass production (the blue hue from stained glass windows often comes from cobalt). It’s also sometimes added to foods like beer and wine as a preservative or colorant. Additionally, cobalt can be found on coins around the world; the United States 5-cent coin (nickel) contains 25% cobalt along with 75% copper!
Cobalt is a versatile metal with many different applications across multiple industries; it’s no wonder why it has been so sought after over the centuries! From medical tools to hard drives and even coins, this silvery-blue metal is sure to find its way into your life at some point, whether you know it or not! With all these uses, who knows what other interesting ways we’ll find to use this precious resource?
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