Lanthanum Metal Cube 99.5%

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Lanthanum.JPG
Lanthanum (4).JPG
Lanthanum.JPG

Lanthanum Metal Cube 99.5%

from 57.00

Lanthanum is the black sheep of the rare earth family. It is both the most abundant component of the rare earth ores as well as relatively useless. Nearly all of the demand for it being taken up by toy sparklers and lighter flints. That's because when you grind it the little hot bits that fly off self-ignite in air in a fiery death before they reach the ground. A market for the metal was found in early versions of electric cars that had Ni-Cad batteries, where lanthanum played a role as minor constituent, but Elon Musk et al have snubbed that old tech for lighter lithium.

Lanthanum is also very susceptible to oxidation. Cut a piece in two to expose virgin metal and its luster will dull over the course of a few hours until completely black. That thin coating of oxides is, unfortunately, insufficient to stop further degradation so the cubes must be kept stored under oil to stop the reaction from causing further damage. However, it's not like they'll crumble before your eyes either. They are not mere window dressing. You can confidently use them as the density cubes they are. Just place them back in oil afterwards and they should remain stable this way.

If you don't mind paying three times as much we can also mill a 10mm cube from bigger stock as in the second photo. However, oxidation begins immediately so that each passing day the cube will turn darker. To prevent this from happening you would need to store it under argon - an option for chemistry labs and advanced amateurs with the right type of gear.

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