Molybdenum Wire and Rod

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molybdenum wire molybdenum rod


Molybdenum is a metallic, silvery-white element, with an atomic number of 42. It's chemical symbol is Mo, and chemically, it is a very stable, but it will react with certain acids

Molybdenite, discovered by Carl Welhelm Scheele, a Swedish chemist, in 1778 is principally found in the ore MoS ( molybdenum sulfide). It is mostly found in what mineralogists describe as foliated masses, meaning it forms folia or layers, like the mineral mica. It has a greasy feel and is very soft at only 1 on the Mohs' hardness scale. Due to its softness and gray color, scientists mistakenly believed it was a lead mineral. Geologically, molybdenite forms in high-temperature environments such as in igneous rocks.

As a free metal, Molybdenum does not occur naturally, rather as a element in various oxidation states within other minerals. Molybdenum is mined as a principal ore, and is also recovered as a byproduct of copper and tungsten mining. In 1913, Frank E. Elmore developed a flotation process to recover molybdenite from ores; flotation remains the primary isolation process today.

Molybdenum is silvery with a gray cast, has the sixth-highest melting point of any element. It freely forms stable hard carbides in alloys, and for this reason most of world production of the element (about 80%) is in making many types of steel alloys, including high strength alloys and super-alloys.

The physical characteristic that makes molybdenum unique is that it has a very high melting point at 4,730 degrees Fahrenheit which is 2,000 degrees higher than the melting point of steel. It is 1,000 degrees higher than the melting temperature of most rocks and has the fifth highest melting point of all of the elements.

It took over a century after the discovery of molybdenum to discover practical and worthwhile uses for Molybdenum. This was due to its scarcity and the difficulty in extracting the pure element. It wasn't until 1906 when it found its most potential uses as high temperature parts in furnaces and filaments in light bulbs after the development of electricity. This expanded widely in 1913, after entry into WWI in strengthening steel for the production of armored plate for tanks and other military vehicles.

General uses today for molybdenum are in machinery (35%), for electrical applications (15%), in transportation (15%), in chemicals (10%), in the oil and gas industry (10%), and assorted other industries (15%). The two largest uses of molybdenum are as an alloy in stainless steels and in alloy steels—these two uses consume nealry 60% of the molybdenum needs in the United States. Stainless steels include the strength and corrosion-resistant requirements for water distribution systems, food handling equipment, chemical processing equipment, home, hospital, and laboratory requirements. Alloyed steels including molybdenum make up the stronger and tougher steels needed for automotive parts, construction equipment, gas transmission pipes. Other major uses as an alloy include tooled steels, for items such as bearings, dies, machining components, cast irons, for steel mill rolls, auto parts, crusher parts,  gas turbine parts and chemical processing equipment.

Molybdenum also has an important role in the chemical and lubricant industries. Moly has uses as catalysts, paint pigments, corrosion inhibitors, smoke and flame retardants, dry lubricant (molybdenum disulfide) on space vehicles and resistant to high loads and temperatures. Major producing countries are China, Chile, and the U.S.


Like the difference between foil and sheet, which differs in thickness, wire and rod principally differ in gauge, or diameter and manufactured in the same techniques.

About 86% of molybdenum produced is used in metallurgical applications such as alloys, with the rest of molybdenum used as compounds in chemical applications. A vast majority of the use of molybdenum in the manufacturing of rods seems to be in steel (for rebar) and aluminum and alloys for the manufacturing of bolts and high speed drills. Many research labs and universities utilize molybdenum in many unusual alloys and elements for research and experimentation.

Molybdenum has also found its way into industry as metal-working dies and super alloys leading to use as a heating element (molybdenum rod) and as shields (molybdenum sheet) for high-temperature furnaces.

In 1903, William D. Coolidge filed a patent for rendering molybdenum ductile, leading to use as a heating element (molybdenum rod) and as shields (molybdenum sheet) for high-temperature furnaces. With its capacity to handle high temperatures, molybdenum wire been used as electrical filaments in place of tungsten. Molybdenum rods are also used as support for tungsten-filament light bulbs (sensitivity to oxide formation and degradation require that molybdenum be physically sealed or held in an inert gas). Molybdenum is also used to make missile, spacecraft and aircraft parts as well as used in the nuclear power industry, as well as a catalyst in the refining of petroleum.


ESPI provides high purity wire and rod in many different elements for distribution to universities, research labs and manufacturing companies in numerous purities and form factors (i.e., foil, sheet, ribbon, shot, pellets, pieces, powder, sputtering targets, discs and custom fabricated parts). We are able to fabricate all the above to your specification. For form overviews on wire and rod manufacturing or additional detailed information on ESPI's other production offerings, click here.

To view various forms and purities of Molybdenum, click on the Molybdenum On-Line Catalog page.


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Atomic Number:


Atomic Weight:



10.22 gm/cc

Melting Point:

2617 oC

Boiling Point:

4612 oC

Thermal Conductivity:

1.38 W/cm/K @ 298.2 K

Electrical Resistivity:

5.2 microhm-cm @ 0 oC


1.9 Paulings

Specific Heat:

0.0599 Cal/g/K @ 25 oC

Heat of Vaporization:

128 K-Cal/gm atom at 4612 oC

Heat of Fusion:

6.6 Cal/gm mole

Modulus of Elasticity:

32 x 1010 Pa @ 25 oC

Thermal Coefficient of Expansion:

5 x 10-6 cm/cm @ 25 oC

Electrical Conductivity:

34% I.A.C.S.



Material Safety Data Sheet - MSDS
Molybdenum MSDS
Technical Data Sheets
Molybdenum-Rhenium Alloy
Molybdenum Silicide
Understanding Mesh Sizes