Manganese Metal Cube 99.9%

Manganese.JPG
Manganese.JPG

Manganese Metal Cube 99.9%

from 109.00

At first glance this ugly cube seems unworthy of a place in a collection. But this battle-scarred little thing has a story to tell.

Manganese is a rather ordinary and plentiful metal that gets little attention outside of the engineering offices of your average steel refinery. Large amounts are used in the making of many different types of alloys where it helps soak up excess contaminants, among other desirable traits.

But go ahead. Look for a piece of anything made out of pure manganese metal and you won't find it. Google manganese metal and you'll get page after page of industrial, butt-ugly looking things that look like something you'd scrape off your shoe while wincing. Attractive looking manganese metal bits and widgets are just about as common as rocking horse poop.

Why?

Manganese, it turns out, is an exceptionally difficult metal to obtain in high purity OR machine into a recognizable shape when in its pure state. The reason is locked up in arcane details of chemistry the upshot of which is that while the metal is perfectly docile at room temperature when heated it becomes highly susceptible to oxidation. And almost every type of machining operation involves friction, which of course creates heat... which readily ruins the Mn sample. 

The making of this high-purity cube therefore required overcoming two major challenges. First, it needed to be purified beyond the usually seen grades of 98-99%. As mentioned above, one of manganese's most desirable properties is that it scoops up contaminants from steel alloys. This means that divorcing it from its catch is going to take a lot of effort. Secondly, after accomplishing the first goal, any machining operation has to be done under a very fastidiously pure atmosphere or in such a way as to create as little heat as possible... and metals are not generally known for being easy to work while cold!

Thus, we hope you can now appreciate the little pot marks and imperfections that grace the surface of this shy metal that seemingly would be happier invisibly tucked away inside other metals. This is a rare opportunity that we're happy to offer the advanced collector.

The density of each 10mm cube is 7.2g with a tolerance of ±0.1g, representing full theoretical density.

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