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Columbium (niobium) serves worldwide mostly as an alloying element in steels and in superalloys, and so is in greatest demand in the industrialized countries. Discovery of the strengthening effect of columbium in structural carbon steels has led to a widespread and growing use for columbium in high-strength low-alloy steels. Two of columbium's more significant applications are in pipeline steels for transporting oil and gas and in structural steels. Columbium usage in superalloys such as are used in jet engines has continued to be prominent; demand has fluctuated along with the fortunes of the aerospace industry. This Bureau of Mines report presents comprehensive data on columbium including strategic considerations, problems, technology trends, reserves-resources, supply-demand relationships, economic factors and problems, operating factors and problems, and outlook to 2000.
Page last reviewed: November 12, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division