KLAUS GULDBRANDSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KLAUS GULDBRANDSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Niobium. Bars of niobium, a soft, ductile, blue- grey transition metal used in special steels (especially stainless steels), alloys and superconductors. Niobium is found in several minerals including columbite (niobite), pyrochlore and samarskite. The element was identified by C. Hatchett in 1801 and first isolated by Blomstrand in 1864. It was originally called columbium and this name still persists in the names of some alloys such as columbium steel. Niobium has the chemical symbol Nb.
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