20 March 2018
Cobalt, the technology-enabling material
The metal itself seems to have only been isolated in 1735 by G. Brandt, a Swedish scientist, and its metallic uses stem from Elwood Haynes’ studies and patents in the early 1900s. The Co-Cr (Cobalt-Chrome) alloys, and superalloys in general, which caused the great leap in cobalt use, are of course still in use as are the Alnico series of magnets invented in the 1930s. At around that time Karl Schroter developed Co-W (Cobalt-Tungsten) ‘hard metals’ which now play a vital role in industrial activities such as cutting, drilling and grinding.