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Ferrouranium (8710 views - Material Database)

Ferrouranium, also called ferro-uranium, is a ferroalloy, an alloy of iron and uranium, after World War II usually depleted uranium.
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Ferrouranium, also called ferro-uranium, is a ferroalloy, an alloy of iron and uranium, after World War II usually depleted uranium.

Composition and properties

The alloy contains about 35–50% uranium and 1.5–4.0% carbon.[1] At least two intermetallic compounds of iron and uranium were identified: U6Fe and UFe2. Small amounts of uranium can drastically lower melting point of iron and vice versa. UFe
reportedly melts at 1230 °C, U
at 805 °C; a mixture of these two can have melting point as low as 725 °C, a mixture of iron and UFe
can have melting point of 1055 °C.[2] As ferrouranium readily dissolves in mineral acids, its chemical analysis is not problematic.[3]


Ferrouranium is used as a deoxidizer (more powerful than ferrovanadium), for denitrogenizing steel, for forming carbides, and as an alloying element. In ferrous alloys, uranium increases the elastic limit and the tensile strength. In high speed steels, it has been used to increase toughness and strength in amounts between 0.05–5%.[4] Uranium-alloyed steels can be used at very low temperatures; nickel-uranium alloys are resistant to even very aggressive chemicals, including aqua regia.[5]


The alloys did not prove to be commercially successful in long run.[6] However, during World War I and afterwards, uranium-doped steels were used for tools; large amounts of ferrouranium were produced between 1914–1916.[7]

  1. ^ Chemical Catalog Company (2009). The Condensed Chemical Dictionary. BiblioBazaar. p. 229. ISBN 1-110-76011-6. 
  2. ^ "Corrosion-resistant Fe-Cr-uranium238 pellet and method for making the same - US Patent 4383853 Description". Patentstorm.us. Archived from the original on 2011-06-12. 
  3. ^ Fred Ibbotson (2007). The Chemical Analysis of Steel-Works' Materials. READ BOOKS. p. 216. ISBN 1-4067-8113-4. 
  4. ^ Mel M. Schwartz (2002). Encyclopedia of materials, parts, and finishes. CRC Press. p. 832. ISBN 1-56676-661-3. 
  5. ^ Ian Ellis. "Uranium and Its Professions". Todayinsci.com. 
  6. ^ M. G. Chitkara (1996). Toxic Tibet under nuclear China. APH Publishing. p. 39. ISBN 81-7024-718-7. 
  7. ^ Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2003). How It Works: Science and Technology. Marshall Cavendish. p. 2548. ISBN 0-7614-7314-9. 

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