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molybdenum silicide is a material with high temperature properties. It is used in electric furnaces, glass, steel, electronics and ceramics industries as a heating element and as a contact material in microelectronics. It also serves as a dry lubricant at temperatures where oils would otherwise decompose.
Among the molybdenum silicides, MoSi2 is particularly promising for high temperature structural applications. The material has a tetragonal crystal structure, high melting temperature (2200 C), and excellent oxidation resistance. It is also a good candidate for a high emissivity coating in heat shields to prevent atmospheric entry.
Insoluble in most acids including aqua regia, but soluble in nitric and hydrofluoric acid. Having high stress-rupture strength and very good toughening when reinforced with ceramic.
It is a soft, black, crystalline mineral which looks very much like graphite until it was analysed by Carl Scheele in 1778. He discovered it was not graphite, but rather a new metal called molybdenum sulfide (MoS2).
Molybdenum has many essential roles in nature. For instance, it is an important trace element for plant nutrition.
Another important application of molybdenum is the production of certain nickel-based alloys, such as the Hastelloy family of alloys. These are characterized by their pronounced heat and corrosion resistance and are used in oil pipelines, aircraft and missile parts.
This element is also an essential component of plant nutrition. But consuming excessive amounts of it can cause fetal deformities.