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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 160 (138)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 160
Page 160

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 160

ALL THE PURE URANIUM which was available to scientists at the start of the nuclear fission (atomic energy) proieci was made in this laboratory set-up of Dr. Harvey C. Renfschler at the Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Lump Division, Bloomfild, New Jersey. W. C. Lilliendahl, research engineer of the division, places a small cube of pressed uranium inlo a crucible at the bottom of the coil for induction heating in the big home.


Lithium, the lightest of the metals, is relatively abundant, but corrodes too easily for use other than as small additions to other metals. It makes a good scavenger and deoxidizer, hence is used in making some castings of many metals and alloys. The introduction of but 0.1 per cent lithium imparts physical properties to Scleron (an aluminum-zinc alloy) which approach those of steel. Lithium salts are often used in air-conditioning equipment.


Only a small fraction of the supply of potash salts (the greatest portion going into the fertilizer trade) is converted into metallic potassium. Following the pioneer experiments, elaborate investigations have been undertaken to perfect the potassium photo-electric cell. Although this cell is not as sensitive as either the rubidium or cesium photoelectric cell, particularly in the red end of the spectrum, the potassium cell is, nevertheless, relatively cheap and has found many applications outside of the cinematographic and television industries.


Rubidium and Cesium

Rubidium and cesium, so very active chemically that they are not produced until the moment they are needed, are used in photo-electric cells. In fact, w.thout these metals, the talkies and television would not be advanced as far as they are today.

The Magnesium Group

Aside from the large scale industrial development of magnesium and its alloys asuch as Dowmetal-in industry, very important applications of all the metals of the magnesium group (including also calcium, strontium and barium) are based on their characteristic ftgetterd or scavenger properties.

Calcium, a pioneer in this field and seriously competing with magnesium, (the ideal scavenger for nickel) was one of the earliest getters for radio tubes. Today calcium is used on a very large scale as a scavenger for the removal of impurities from molten ferrous and nonferrous metals; it is also used for the removal of bismuth from molten lead.

One of the common getters used in vacuum-tube work is an alloy of 20 parts


of barium, 20 of strontium, and 60 of magnesium. A small pellet of this, or similar, alloy is placed in the radio tube and, after exhaustion and sealing off, the alloy is volatilized with the aid of a highfrequency coil placed over the tube} A goodly percentage of the residual gases is converted into solid alkalinearth metal compounds and the gas remaining doesnot interfere with good tube performance. r

Of very special interest are the thermionic properties of barium. Barium is the very ffheart" of the automatic telephone service, where a barium-oxide coated filament is used. The same filament has contributed very largely to the success of the modern sodium and mercuryvapor lamps.


The rapid growth of the industrial applications of the 21/; per cent berylliumcopper alloy has been most phenomenal. It is the first metal that has been able to compete with spring steel. Copperberyllium not only has a fatigue resistance about equal to that of steel but it is highly resistant to corrosion and' is a fair conductor of electricity. The copperberyllium alloy is manufactured into a wide variety of articles: knives, hammers, chisels (that will cut low-carbon steel), coiled and fiat springs, and many types of wire and strip parts for devices subject to repeated flextures.


When used in radio tubes, gallium emits electrons readily. It does not oxidize readily, and, on account of its high boiling point, it does not volatilize appreciably even at red heat.


Indium has, since 1932, been available in commercial quantities in excess of the demand. It has found a wartime use as a coating on silver lined bearings for aircraft, and is becoming well known in electroplating. Indium is one of the very softest of metals that will withstand atmospheric corrosion,


Thallium, occurring in zinc and lead ores, enters the market chiefly as salts used for the extermination of rodents.

Scandium, and others

Little research has been done on the three rare metalsescandium, yttrium and lanthanumegrouped with gallium, indium, and thallium. Although lanthanum is used to a small extent as ferrolanthanum, serving as the "fiint" in place of ferro-cerium in certain types of cigarette lighters, little has been accomplished in finding a well-defined field of

general application for these three metals. Germanium

Germanium, like gallium and indium, is a by-product of the zinc industry. It forms a remarkably low melting alloy with gold, and its high electrical resist CATALOG-1945
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 160