The steel industry is the largest user of molybdenum, accounting for approximately 80 percent of molybdenum mined in the world.
Molybdenum is used to improve mechanical and physical properties of all kinds of steels. Applications for our products include additions to constructional alloy steels, tool and high speed steels, stainless steels, super alloys and cast irons as well as cast steels.
Climax Molybdenum Company, a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan, is one of the world's leading producers of molybdenum for metallurgical applications. Our metallurgical products comprise of Technical Grade Oxide in powder form as well as in briquettes (carbon-free) and Ferromolybdenum in various grain sizes manufactured at our production facilities in the United States and Europe.
About 40 percent of all metallurgical molybdenum products are used in alloy steels.
- Constructional alloy steels used for component parts in machine tools, trucks and mining equipment.
- High strength low alloy steels (HSLA) used in such applications as pipelines for gas and oil transmission.
- High temperature steels used in heat exchangers, power generation equipment and other parts that must operate at extremely high temperatures.
- These steels generally contain up to 1 percent molybdenum added to improve hardenability, weldability, toughness and heat resistance.
Another 24 percent of all metallurgical molybdenum products are added to:
- Stainless steels in amounts ranging from 1 to 4 percent where molybdenum improves the corrosion resistance of stainless steels. Higher additions can be found in some stainless steels for special applications. For example, duplex steels have found increasing entry into the chemical and ship building industries, among others.
- Super alloys in additions of up to 30 percent are used for parts in jet engines and in turbine wheels.
About 17 percent of all metallurgical molybdenum is consumed in the production of:
- Tool steels and high speed steels
- Cast iron and steel castings
Roasted Molybdenum Concentrate Carbon-Free Briquettes are used to add molybdenum to steel and iron. They are especially designed for use in automatic handling equipment such as conveyer belts, hoppers and bins. The briquetted product is used to greatest advantage in overcoming furnace conditions under which excessive mechanical losses might be encountered. Additions of Carbon-Free Briquettes are typically made to the molten bath of electric arc furnaces or AOD vessels. If used in the electric furnace, direct contact with the electrodes should be avoided. For optimum recovery it should be observed that the product gets immediate direct contact with the molten metal. For adjustment of final analysis the use of Roasted Molybdenum Concentrate Carbon-Free Briquettes is only recommended if subsequent metallurgical work follows the addition of the alloy.
Ferromolybdenum can be used in any melting process to add molybdenum to all types of iron and steel, and is supplied in a range of sizes for furnace or ladle addition. The recovery should be substantially 100 percent if used correctly. For optimum recoveries with ladle additions, ferromolybdenum should be added after the molten metal has covered the bottom of the ladle and before it is three quarters full.
Climax Molybdenum Company also offers Roasted Molybdenite Concentrates in powder as well as in briquettes.
The major use of Roasted Molybdenum Concentrate is to add molybdenum to steel produced in the electric arc furnace. The material may be added to the charge or to the molten bath. For the adjustment of the final analysis, the use of Roasted Molybdenum Concentrate is not recommended.
For optimum recovery the following should be observed: If added with the charge, the Roasted Molybdenum Concentrate containing packages should always be covered with scrap or liquid metal. If added to the bath, the product should be introduced under the slag level. If used in the electric arc furnace, direct contact with the electrodes should be avoided.