What is rare earth?
earth is a group of elements of peculiar nature, comprising the 17 elements
under subgroup III B of Mendeleyev's periodic table. They are a group
of typical metal elements rather than earth.
earth elements and their chemical compounds are characterized by their
high fusing point, great density and high thermal and electricity conductivity,
and are able to generate a wide variety of electron energy levels. They
can be widely used in various fields due to their many special physical
and chemical natures such as magnetism, luminosity, superconductivity
and environmental non-toxicity, etc.
earth elements are widely used in six major high and new technology industries,
including information, biology, new materials, new energy, space and ocean.
Such elements are indispensable functional materials for the high and
new technology and sophisticated technology worldwide. It can be asserted
that the development of high and new technology industry would not be
possible without rare earth.
industries range from traditional industries such as metallurgy, nonferrous
metal smelting, petroleum and chemical engineering, glass, ceramics and
home appliances, etc. to nowadays high-tech electronic devices, computers,
electric motors, automotive air purifiers, permanent-magnet materials,
nano materials, magnetic memory chips, fibre optics, superconductors and
precision optics, etc. all require rare earth.
How about the application of the respective rare earth elements?
application of rare earth is still at its developmental stage, with new
research results coming out every year. Currently, the principal applications
of the respective rare earth elements are as follows:
manufacture of various alloys, such as alumni alloy for aircraft;
illuminating materials, such as highway sign board and luminous stone
mounted on road surface; optical glass, such as camera and camcorder
lens; optical fibre; high-class condenser; glass decolourizer for
strength enhancement; laser materials; colour and polishing materials
for porcelain, magnetic resistance materials; hydrogen-storage materials;
mobile phone battery; catalyst for organic chemical products, such
as photoconvert agricultural film.
production of fluorescent powder; radiation and ultraviolet ray protection
optical glass, such as autoglass; additive for special intensified
glass; petrol cracking catalyst; electronic devices for computer,
oven, microwave oven and air-conditioner; automotive air purifying
catalyst; plastic colouring used in dyestuff, printing ink and paper;
used in glass, ceramic and magnetic materials; the production of high-class
porcelain colour; petrol cracking catalyst; polishing abradant; optical
fibre; alloy for watch winding; the manufacture of permanent magnet
for used in various electronic devices and motors.
permanent magnetic materials; automatic lock for automobile engine,
doors and windows; superconductivity material used in the electronics
industry; mobile phone battery; computer hard driver; nonferrous metal
materials widely used in the aerospace industry; shortwave laser beam
widely used for welding and cutting thin materials; medical laser
used in surgical removal or wound sterilization; glass and porcelain
colouring and rubber product additives.
permanent magnetic materials used in the national defence industry;
reactor control materials used in the nuclear industry; Sm cobalt
series permanent magnet; ceramic condenser; catalyst; structural materials
for atomic reactor; screen materials.
powder, fluorescent screen for colour TV and computer display, and
trichomatic fluorescent lamp; control stick used in the nuclear industry;
new X ray radioactivity medical diagnosis system; the manufacture
of colour lens and optical filter; magnetic bubble storage device;
control materials, screen materials and structural materials for atomic
crystal line materials; laser instrument; nuclear and magnetic resonance
imaging device; special luminance oscillograph tube and X ray intensifying
screen; magnetic bubble memory; solid state magnetic refrigerant;
super conductive magnet; inhibitor for controlling nuclear power station;
Sm cobalt magnet addictive; for improving glass stability; condenser.
green powder activator; high-class magnetic materials; magnet-optical
storage materials, magnet-optical disc, computer storage element,
computer memory chip; magnet-optical glass laser rotator, separator
and circulator; magnetostrictance alloy; sonar; fuel-injection system;
liquid valve control; micropositioning mechanical brake; space telescope
regulating device and airfoil regulator.
neutron energy spectrum for the nuclear industry; metal halogen light
materials; photomagnetic record alloy; super permanent magnetic materials;
NdFeB series permanent magnet addictive; laser; fluorescent powder
activator; magnetostrictance alloy; photomagnetic storage materials;
Dy lamp used as luminous source for films and printing; for testing
neutron energy spectrum or neutron absorber in the nuclear industry;
reaction activator; medical operation laser device; Ho crystal, laser
crystal; metal halogen light addictive; magnetostrictance alloy addictive;
optical communication devices such as optical fibre, optical fibre
laser device, optical fibre amplifier, optical fibre sensing transmitter,
materials; super conducting materials; photo conductive fibre; Er
optical fibre amplifier optical device; laser crystal; infrared glass
for snooperscope, portable military laser telemeter; rare-earth glass
solid laser materials; spectacles glass; crystal glass decolouring
ray; super conducting materials; portable X ray generator for medical
use; portable blood irradiator; clinical diagnosis and tumour treatment;
fluorescent powder activator for X ray intensifying screen; new luminous
metal halogen light addictive; rare-earth glass laser materials.
of superalloy products; hot screen-coating materials; magnetostrictance
materials; manometer; resin base filling for decayed tooth; embedding
circuit waveguide laser device; fluorescent powder activator; ceramic
radio device; electronic computer memory element (magnetic bubble)
addictive, glass fibre flux; optical glass addictive.
medical instrument probe, not only for general X ray and human body
cross section X ray, but also for the latest human cytoscopy; metachromatic
display device; special alloy manufacture; neutron activation analysis;
petrol cracking catalysis; complex functional crystal; laser; energy
cell; fluorescent powder activator.C
illuminant materials; imitation jewel; aerosuperalloy; steel and nonferrous
alloy addictive; ceramic materials, motor components; laser beam for
drilling, cutting and welding; garnet single-crystal chip, electronic
microscope screen; high-temperature proton conducting materials; fuel
cell; gas sensor; atomic reactor fuel diluent; permanent magnet addictive;
degasser used in the electronic industry.
radioactive element separated from uranium fuel consumed by atomic
reactor.It can be used as a heat source. It can provide supplementary
energy for vacuum detection and satellite; be used for making Pm cell;
as a power source of missile guidance device and clocks; for making
portable X ray apparatus; fluorescent powder; navigation beacon.
compared with Y and La series elements, the ionic radius of Sc is
particularly small, the alkalinity of hydroxide is particularly weak
as well. Due to its different separating process, it is usually distinguished
from other rare earth elements.In the metallurgical industry, Sc is
used in the manufacture of alloy addictive to improve the strength,
hardness, heat resistance and other features of alloy; in the electronics
industry, it is used in the manufacture of various semi-conducting
devices; in the chemical industry, it is used in the preparation of
alcohol dehydrogenation and dehydrator, as well as a highly efficient
catalyst for producing ethylene and producing chlorine with hydrochloric
acid waste; in the glass industry, it can be used for making Sc special
glass; in the electro-optical industry, Sc Na light is well-known
for its high efficiency and precise colour; Sc can be used as a tracer
in chemical engineering metallurgical engineering and oceanology;
in the medical field, it can be used in the research in cancer treatment.
How can rare earth products be categorized?
are a wide variety of rare earth products which can be mainly divided
into two categories: metallurgical products and application products.
The former refers to products of rare earth mines and smelters, such as
rare earth concentrate, unitary and mixed rare earth oxide, metal and
alloy, unitary and mixed rare earth salt etc., altogether over 300 varieties
and 500 specifications. The latter refers to all finished products containing
rare earth, such as rare earth permanent magnet, rare earth fluorescent
powder, rare earth polishing powder, rare earth fertilizer, rare earth
laser crystal, rare earth hydrogen-storage materials, etc. Generally speaking,
mineral products and primary products (or semi-finished products) are
referred to as upstream products; deep processing products (or unitary
products, high-purity products) are referred to as middle stream products;
application materials and application products (or devices) are referred
to as downstream products.
are several stages involved in the production process of rare earth products.
From the sourcing of raw materials, processing of materials and components,
to the making of final products, all require critical technology specifically
for the respective stages of the production process. As it's getting closer
to the final products, the technology so required will be getting more
sophisticated, and, as it should be, the relevant products will be of
higher added value.
How about the reserve and distribution of rare earth ores?
to the statistics of US Mineral Department in 1998, there was a reserve
of exploitable rare earth ores at approximately 45 million tonnes (REO)
prospected all over the world. Of which 36 million tonnes (REO) were located
in China, representing about 80% of the global reserves. Second to China
was the United States, which have reserves at about 5.5 million tonnes
(REO). The remaining reserves were located in other countries such as
India, Australia, Russia and Brazil.
rare earth ores can be broadly divided into the north ore and the south
ore. The north ore mainly refers to the fluorocarbon cerium ore co-existing
with iron ores in Baotou, Inner Mongolia which principally contains four
light rare earth elements, i.e. La, Ce, Pr and Nd. The south ore mainly
comprises the ion absorption ores in Jiangxi and Guangdong, from which
various elements of light rare earth, middle rare earth and heavy rare
earth can be separated. Such excellent rare earth ores have only been
found in China so far. Based on an annual output of 50,000 tonnes (REO),
the existing rare earth reserves can still be exploited for more than
ranks No. 1 in terms of reserves, output and consumption all over the
world, with its technology in production, refining and research and development
reaches international advanced levels. The United States and Japan rank
No.2 and No.3 respectively in terms of rare earth consumption.
What are refractory products?
products refer to functional materials which can resist high temperature
or even ultra-high temperature. They are widely used in various high temperature
heat treatment equipment, such as steels-melting kiln, glass kiln and
cement kiln. The quality of refractory products directly affects the usable
life of kilns and the quality of the final industrial output. Refractory
products are made from various natural minerals such as silica, dolomite,
graphite, zircon, magnesia, high aluminium ore and chrome ore through
numerous technical refining processes. They have valuable features such
as high-heat insulation, high-heat resistance, high strength, high hardness,
good volume stability, oxidation resistance, excellent complexity, wear
resistance, corrosion resistance, etc.. Some refractory products even
have special features such as high ventilation, heat conduction and extreme
Any differences between shaped and unshaped refractory products?
refractory products can be pressed into bricks and are, generally used
in building heat treatment equipment such as metallurgical kilns. Unshaped
refractory products refer to fire-resistant casting materials. They can
be moulded into whatever shapes and are suitable for building different
high temperature furnaces and using as the lining in different heat treatment