Molybdenum is a metal that is used, among other things, in certain steel alloys. Alloys with molybdenum are for example used for stainless steel blades.
Stainless steel are types of steel that are resistant to corrosion. These steels obtain their corrosion resistance by adding further elements, including molybdenum, to the basic elements of steel that are iron and carbon. These so-called alloys consist of at least two, often several alloying elements. Molybdenum is usually alloyed with several other elements. A characteristic feature of alloys is that they combine certain physical properties of their initial elements. For a steel to be considered alloyed with another element, this additional element must have a certain minimum mass fraction of the steel.In Germany, the corresponding cut-offs are defined in the industrial standard DIN EN 10020. According to this standard, molybdenum has a minimum value of 0.08 %.
Molybdenum alloys are characterized by their high mechanical stability (i.e. their resistance to external forces) and strength (i.e. their resistance to plastic deformation), especially at high temperatures (up to 1900 degrees Celsius). In addition, molybdenum gives a steel alloy particularly high toughness, making the alloy highly resistant to fracture and cracking. Steel alloys with a molybdenum content are therefore both hard and break-resistant. One of the better known products made from a molybdenum alloy was the mortar gun known as "Dicke Berta", which was manufactured by Friedrich Krupp AG in Essen and used during the First and Second World Wars.
Because of their special properties, molybdenum alloys are mainly used in areas where steel is exposed to high heat or pressure. Products made of molybdenum alloys include electrodes and components used in melting furnaces and high-temperature heating elements. Molybdenum alloys are used in knife production for high-quality knife blades.