The integration of science and production is becoming an integral part of the activities of the Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Complex. Indeed, due to this, significant success is achieved in production.
In particular, the specialists from the Uzbek-Korean Scientific and Technological Center at the Scientific and Production Association for the Production of Rare Metals and Hard Alloys of the plant, based on the new technology, extracted 96.0 percent cobalt from tungsten-containing waste. The technology has been successfully tested and has already been introduced into production.
Cobalt is mainly used as an additive to steels. This increases the heat resistance of steel, improves its mechanical properties (hardness and wear resistance at elevated temperatures). This metal is part of the hard alloys from which high-speed cutting tools are made. Also, cobalt alloy can be used to protect against wear of the surfaces of parts subjected to heavy loads. Hard alloy is able to multiply the service life of a steel part.
It is also worth noting that at present the demand for cobalt on the world market exceeds supply by at least 10%. And therefore, its production from the waste of production activities is being established.
Cobalt and its compounds have found application in various industries: aviation, space, non-ferrous metallurgy, radio engineering. It is also used in the manufacture of lithium-ion battery electrodes and catalysts.
It should be emphasized that cobalt in our country is a completely imported product. The world's first electric vehicles are expected to become obsolete by 2030. And then the issue of storing, recycling and extracting cobalt from these batteries will become even more relevant.
The new technology developed by the plant's specialists will be used in the future to extract cobalt from failed lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles, smartphones, and, most importantly, thereby contributing to environmental protection.
Tungsten hard alloys serve as an important factor in the creation of waste-free production technology.