Putin’s Defense Ambitions – Import Increase of Molybdenum

  • Molybdenum is used in Russia for the manufacturing of the frame elements  for their hypersonic jets and rockets.
  • The chemical element is known for its ability to form compounds with inorganic and organic ligands.
  • Putin’s geopolitical appetite and defense ambitions are a dangerous sign for the West.

In 2019, the import of Molybdenum to Russia reached 28 tonnes, 77% higher vs 2018 according to the metallurgy bulletin data. The volume of exports from China reached over 12 tonnes. German exports of Molybdenum doubled to over 14 tonnes.

Molybdenum is essential for the aviation and defense industries due to its properties: the high-temperature stability, density and tensile strength, excellent material machinability, and radiation protection. It is a refractory metallic element that readily forms hard, stable carbides, enhancing hardenability, strength, toughness and resistance to wear and corrosion.

Chemically, the outstanding feature of molybdenum is its extraordinary versatility:

  • Oxidation states from – II to VI
  • Coordination numbers from 4 to 8
  • Varied stereochemistry

The chemical element is known for its ability to form compounds with inorganic and organic ligands, with particular preference for oxygen, sulfur, fluorine and chlorine donor atoms, including the formation of bi- and poly-nuclear compounds containing bridging oxide or chloride ligands and/or molybdenum-molybdenum bonds.

The other materials used in the defense industry are:

  • Nickels 600, 625, 718, 750: Nickel alloys are oxidation and corrosion resistant materials well-suited for extreme environments, exhibiting excellent mechanical strength and creep resistance and high temperatures and good surface stability.  Nickel alloys are commonly used in the aviation and aerospace industries, as well as in springs and electrical components.
  • Tungsten:  Tungsten has a hardness and high density that makes it ideal for military applications, rocket nozzles, turbine blades and wear-resistant parts and coatings.  Tungsten has the lowest coefficient of thermal expansion, highest melting point, lowest vapor pressure and highest tensile strength of all metals in pure form.
  • Tantalum:  Tantalum is used to produce a variety of alloys that have high melting points and good ductility.  Its chemical inertness makes tantalum a valuable substitute for platinum.  Tantalum alloys are often used in making carbide tools for metalworking equipment, jet engine components, chemical process equipment, nuclear reactors and missile parts.
  • Titanium:  Titanium has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal.  Its high corrosion resistance, fatigue resistance, high crack resistance and ability to withstand high temperatures without creeping make titanium ideal for the aerospace, military and marine industries, from naval ships and missiles to landing gear and hydraulic systems.

Molybdenum is used in Russia for the manufacturing of the frame elements  for their hypersonic jets and rockets, including capsules and the wing portions. Molybdenum properties allow it to be used for the energetic atomic reactors with the temperature up to 1472 F.

Image Source: Thesun.uk

Additionally, Molybdenum with the niobium and vanadium additive are used in the parts for the rocket engine and turbines. Niobium (Nb) is a chemical element and atomic number 41. Pure Niobium has a hardness similar to that of pure titanium, and it has similar ductility to iron. Vanadium (V) is a chemical element and atomic number 23. It is a hard, silvery-grey, ductile, malleable transition metal. The elemental metal is rarely found in nature, but once isolated artificially, the formation of an oxide layer somewhat stabilizes the free metal against further oxidation.

Putin’s geopolitical appetite and defense ambitions are a dangerous sign for the West.

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Christina Kitova

Christina Kitova spent most of her professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation


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