In 1925, the German Chemists Walker Noddack, Ida Tacke and Otto Berg isolated Rhenium from platinum ores. The Russian Chemist Dmitri Mendeleev predicted there would be an element closely related to manganese, he called this‘div-manganese’. This was the first prediction of the existence of Rhenium.
Have you ever used an oven? If so, you have utilised the ultra-high melting point of Rhenium, at a whopping 3453K (3179.85°C). Rhenium is used as an additive to tungsten and molybdenum-based alloys (also elements which have high melting points) to increase the ductility (allows it to withstand stress). This metal despite its rarity is commonly found in almost all electric ovens, filament lamps, even if it is a miniscule amount. It is even used with platinum as a catalyst in the production of high octane, lead-free gasoline.
The same stuff is used in the production of jet engines; nickel-based superalloys containing 6% Rhenium are used to make the combustion chambers, turbine blades and exhaust nozzles of jet engines. F-22 Raptors and F-35 aircrafts all contain this superalloy.
F-35 U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen [Public domain]
F-22A Rob Shenk from Great Falls, VA, USA [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
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