Rhenium is a rare element in the earth’s crust. Occurs in molybdenum and copper ores. Most rich deposits in Chile, USA and Russia. For many years the world consumption of rhenium has not changed. The need for Reni began to grow from the 60-ies of XX century, when the petrochemical industry started development of a new rhenium-platinum catalysts for the production of high-octane gasoline. Prior to that, in the first half of the twentieth century a large part of rhenium was spent on heat-resistant alloys. The rhenium makes the steel not only heat resistance but also high strength and corrosion resistance. This is one of the most refractory metals, which are used in metallurgical equipment and electrical engineering.
It is a heavy refractory metal, similar to molybdenum and tungsten. The density of rhenium is 21 g/cm3, heat resistance (t° melting Re 3170°C) the metal is second only to tungsten. Pure rhenium is very ductile. Under normal conditions, it is possible to roll to thin thread. The metal at the same time increases the ductility and toughness of the alloys. Up to 1200 °C the hardness is higher than that of tungsten. Rhenium can withstand repeated cooling and heating without loss of strength. The resistivity is much bigger than the tungsten. Rhenium is more resistant to oxidation than tungsten does not tarnish in air, sustained in an industrial condensation in solutions of hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid, reacts with sulphuric acid only when heated, but soluble in nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide solution.
Modern nuclear power is impossible without rhenium. Alloy of rhenium and tungsten (1:4) is indispensable for heat-exchange equipment of nuclear boilers, protective cladding, heat-resistant parts operating at temperatures above 1500 °C. Alloy of tantalum, rhenium and tungsten is included with heat shields the head of the missiles. Rhenium alloyed heat-resistant steel, used for plating at least a heat-resistant metals. On the basis of rhenium and tungsten to produce tungsten-rhenium thermocouple BP-5, BP-20, which is designed for temperature measurement up to 2500 °C. Rhenium-platinum catalysts are indispensable for the production of high-octane gasoline. Niobium and tantalum produce energy-intensive electrolytic capacitors. Alloys of rhenium durable, plastic, high-tech, well welded, can work in the most difficult conditions.
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