Metals are needed in everyday life
Metals have an important role in modern society. Terrafame produces nickel, cobalt and zinc sulphides which are needed for manufacturing corrosion-resistant and long-life materials. The company is involved in creating a more sustainable world with its high-quality metal products.
Terrafame’s metal sulphides are mainly used for production of nickel, zinc and cobalt. In 2017, Terrafame aims to commercialise copper as well. These metals are used as alloying elements in long-life and durable materials.
Nickel is needed as an alloying element for stainless steel, and zinc is used to prevent corrosion in, for instance, construction and automotive industries. Cobalt is needed for alloys which must withstand high temperatures and hard use, for instance, in aircraft turbines. Most applications of metal allow for 100% recycling of the metal materials.
Two thirds of the world’s nickel production is used directly or indirectly for the manufacturing of stainless steel and metal alloys. Stainless steel is used in applications that are meant to be corrosion-resistant. In addition, stainless steel surfaces are easy to clean, which is important, for instance, in the work environments of the food industry.
A third of nickel is used as various chemicals in, for instance, battery manufacturing. Nickel batteries are used in mobile phones, hybrid vehicles, computers and auxiliary power supplies for buildings, among other things.
Zinc is one of the most used metals in the world, alongside iron, aluminium and copper. Of the zinc produced, about two thirds are used for protecting various metals, mostly steel, against corrosion. Galvanised, that is, zinced steel is used in applications that demand durability in fluctuating conditions as well as long service life, for instance in the automotive and construction industries.
In addition, zinc is used for zinc alloys in the foundry industry, for the manufacturing of brass and bronze as well as in zinc oxide and zinc sulphide composites. Zinc oxide is needed, for instance, for manufacturing rubber, whereas zinc sulphide is needed for televisions and x-ray equipment. Zinc is also used in batteries.
Most of the cobalt produced is used for the battery industry. The second most common use for cobalt is in various metal alloys. Cobalt has a high melting point, and it withstands wear. It is used, for instance, with nickel and iron in metal alloys for applications that are exposed to high temperature and hard use, for instance, in jet engines.
Cobalt is also used for different types of magnets in, for instance, computer drives as well as colours and pigments.
Construction, electricity and electronics industries are the largest users of copper produce. Copper is known for its good electrical and heat conductivity. It is used in buildings, for instance, in water pipe systems due to its antibacterial properties. Combined with other metals, copper is also used for the aesthetic finishing touches on building facades.
Copper’s electrical and heat conductivity, corrosion resistance and recyclability make it a sought-after metal for the automotive industry, particularly for electric vehicles. One application that everyone is familiar with is coins. Additionally, copper is used for industrial production machines and equipment.