Swiss chemist Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac separated gadolinia, the oxide of gadolinium, in 1880. In 1886, French chemist Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran isolated the element from yttria (yttrium oxide). Gadolinium, a member of the lanthanides group of elements, is malleable, silvery white element and has a metallic sheen, similar properties seen in related rare earth metals. [See Periodic Table of the Elements] At room temperature, gadolinium crystallizes in the hexagonal, close-packed alpha form. Alpha gadolinium transforms into the beta form, which has a body-centered cubic structure, when heated to 2,255 F (1,235 C). The metal is relatively stable in dry air, but tarnishes in moist air. The metal is soluble in dilute acid and reacts slowly with water. A small chunk of ultrapure amorphous gadolinium, 12 grams, about 1.5 x 2 cm. A small chunk of ultrapure amorphous gadolinium, 12 grams, about 1.5 x 2 cm. (Image credit: Images of elements) At 49,000 barns, gadolinium has the highest thermal neutron capture cross-section of all the recognized elements
SOURCES OF GADOLINIUM
Obtained from the mineral gadolinite, gadolinium is also found in several other minerals, including monazite and bastnasite, which have commercial implications. With the development of ion-exchange and solvent extraction techniques, gadolinium and the other rare earth metals have become more available and prices have dropped.. The metal can be prepared through a process of reducing anhydrous fluoride with metallic calcium.
USES OF GADOLINIUM
Gadolinium compounds are used as phosphors in color televisions and gadolinium yttrium garnets have application in microwaves . The metal has unusual superconductive properties. The resistance and workability of iron and chromium can be improved with as little as 1 percent gadolinium. Due to its low noise characteristics, gadolinium ethyl sulfate has been explored for duplicating the performance of amplifiers. The rare earth metal has special Curie temperature above which ferromagnetism vanishes, giving rise to the potential that it could be used as a magnetic component that can sense hot and cold.
(Sources: Los Alamos National Laboratory, LiveScience.com).
ROLLING GADOLINIUM SHEET AND FOIL
Cold rolling of gadolinium sheet and foil is a process where the metal is worked below its recrystallization temperature, usually at room temperature. Cold rolling of gadolinium results in rapid strain hardening and requires numerous annealing cycles. This strengthening occurs because of movement within the crystal structure of the gadolinium metal The condition or temper of a gadolinium metal sheet or foil can be controlled by the amount of cold rolling performed after the last anneal. ESPI's gadolinium sheet and foil are generally left in the 'as rolled' state however a final annealing can be performed on request. Cold rolling gadolinium improves the surface finish of the material and allows us to hold tighter tolerances..
DRAWING GADOLINIUM ROD AND WIRE
Gadolinium rod and wire are typically formed by drawing. Drawing gadolinium is normally done in a number of steps by pulling the metal through a conical shaped hole in a die or draw plate. Each successive die has a slightly small aperture then the previous die. Drawing is usually done at room temperature, thus classified as a cold working process, however it may be performed at elevated temperatures to hot work larger diameters.