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Cobalt: for strength and color

Fact Sheet 2011-3081

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Abstract

Cobalt is a shiny, gray, brittle metal that is best known for creating an intense blue color in glass and paints. It is frequently used in the manufacture of rechargeable batteries and to create alloys that maintain their strength at high temperatures. It is also one of the essential trace elements (or "micronutrients") that humans and many other living creatures require for good health. Cobalt is an important component in many aerospace, defense, and medical applications and is a key element in many clean energy technologies. The name cobalt comes from the German word kobold, meaning goblin. It was given this name by medieval miners who believed that troublesome goblins replaced the valuable metals in their ore with a substance that emitted poisonous fumes when smelted. The Swedish chemist Georg Brandt isolated metallic cobalt-the first new metal to be discovered since ancient times-in about 1735 and identified some of its valuable properties.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Cobalt: for strength and color
Series title:
Fact Sheet
Series number:
2011-3081
Year Published:
2011
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Mineral Resources Program Coordinator
Description:
2 p.
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files(Y/N):
N