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Supplier Data - Ruthenium (Ru) (Goodfellow)

Ruthenium was initially discovered in 1808 by J.A. Sniadecki at the University of Vilno, Poland and then again by G.W. Osnann in 1828 at the University of Tartu, Russia.

Abundance and Extraction

Ruthenium is a rare member of the platinum group of metals (abundance 0.001 ppm in the earth’s crust). It is a lustrous, silvery coloured metal which is unaffected by air, water and acids, but is soluble in fused alkalis. Extraction of Ruthenium is achieved by several techniques; for example, extraction of the mixed platinum group metals by dissolution in aqua regia, followed by treatment of the various soluble and insoluble fractions.

Applications

Applications of Ruthenium are limited; as a pure metal, ruthenium is extremely hard and brittle and, consequently, difficult to machine.

It is relatively unreactive, and is used as an alloying element with platinum and palladium to produce alloys which have improved wear resistance, and with titanium to improve the material’s corrosion resistance.

In all cases, the Ruthenium addition has to be less than 15%, otherwise the resultant alloy is too hard to work.

Key Properties

The key properties of Ruthenium are tabulated below.

Table 1. Key properties

Atomic Properties
Atomic number 44
Atomic radius - Goldschmidt ( nm ) 0.134
Atomic weight ( amu ) 101.07
Crystal structure Hexagonal close packed
Electronic structure Kr 4d7 5s1
Photo-electric work function ( eV ) 4.71
Thermal neutron absorption cross-section ( Barns ) 3.0
Valences shown 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Ionisation potential No. eV
1 7.36
2 16.8
3 28.5
Natural isotope distribution Mass No. %
96 5.5
98 1.9
99 12.7
100 12.6
101 17.1
102 31.6
104 18.6
Electrical Properties
Electrical resistivity @ 20 C ( µOhmcm ) 7.7
Temperature coefficient @ 0-100 C ( K-1 ) 0.0041
Superconductivity critical temperature ( K ) 0.49
Mechanical Properties
Material condition Soft Hard Polycrystalline
Bulk modulus ( GPa ) 286
Hardness - Vickers 350 750
Poisson's ratio 0.25
Tensile modulus ( GPa ) 432
Tensile strength ( MPa ) 495
Yield strength ( MPa ) 372
Physical Properties
Boiling point ( C ) 3900
Density @ 20 C ( g cm-3 ) 12.2
Melting point ( C ) 2310
Thermal Properties
Coefficient of thermal expansion @ 0-100 C ( x10-6 K-1 ) 9.6
Latent heat of evaporation ( J g-1 ) 5610
Latent heat of fusion ( J g-1 ) 252
Specific heat @ 25 C ( J K-1 kg-1 ) 238
Thermal conductivity @ 0-100 C ( W m-1 K-1 ) 117

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