Further details about Niobium and its applications can be found on the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (T.I.C.) website:

Schedule a Free Consult

Niobium (Nb), formerly known as Columbium (Cb), is a metal in group V-B of the periodic table with atomic number 41, an atomic weight of 92.91, and a density of 8.4 g/m3. Niobium is similar to Tantalum (Ta), however it is half the density with a significantly lower unit cost.

Niobium is not particularly rare or exotic in that it is the 34th most abundant element in the Earth's crust at an average concentration of 20 pppm. Niobium is mined primarily from the minerals pyrochlore and columbite, in Brazil and to a lesser extent in Canada and central Africa.
Niobium's name comes from Greek mythology. Niobe is the daughter of Tantalus, after whom the element Tantalum is named.  Charles Hatchett, an English chemist, discovered the element in 1801 and named it columbium. Today, the prestigious Charles Hatchett Award recognizes the best published research on the science and technology of niobium.
Niobium is highly corrosion resistant due to the passive oxide film which forms on its surface in air or other oxidizing environments. Niobium can be anodized to brilliant colors by thickening of this oxide film electrochemically or with heat.

Most mined Niobium is used in the form of Ferro-Niobium, also known as Ferro-Nolumbium, as an alloying addition to high strength low alloy steel and stainless steels to increase strength for structural applications like gas pipelines, car and truck bodies, ships hulls, railroad tracks, etc.

Common applications for Niobium include:

  • In superalloys, as an addition to add high temperature strength to Nickel based alloys like 625, 718 and 945 for aerospace and oil & gas applications.
  • In superconductors, including MRI scanners for medical use and high energy physics applications like the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • In refractory metals, such as alloy C103 (Nb-10Hf-1Ti) used in rocket nozzles.
  • In nuclear power, as an alloy addition to Zirconium for fuel cladding and fuel assemblies.
  • In jewelry, as a colorful and hypoallergenic alternative to nickel, especially for earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, wires and posts.

Additional applications include microelectronics, optics, numismatics, and medical / dental devices.

You have a friend in the Niobium business.

Niobium Research LLC and our network of technical and market experts provide real time results and educational resources for your project needs.