materials

Molybdenum

Molybdenum and Molybdenum alloys such as TZM or MoLa are becoming increasingly popular in aerospace and space-based applications, due to their high melting point, good mechanical properties, and low CTE.

9.0

Relative Cost of Material

8.0

Machining Degree of Difficulty

Summary

While it is a naturally occurring element, there are relatively few molybdenum mines throughout the world, and only one currently in the United States. As a refractory metal, Molybdenum has low CTE and an extremely high melting point, which makes it an ideal choice for applications with demanding thermal components. While Molybdenum and TZM are both abrasive and brittle metal materials that can be difficult to machine, it is possible to make extremely tight-tolerance components with complex geometries with the proper machining strategy. 

Molybdenum and TZM machining are among Mindrum Precision’s many specialties, as we work in these materials on a routine basis. We are proud to have years of mission-critical, high consequence component manufacture in TZM for NASA’s WFIRST mission, and our expertise with the machining strategy has allowed them to increase the complexity of their design to the maximum degree desired. Click here for our contact information or to request a quote, and we will show you why more engineers are trusting us with their mission-critical needs.

Applications

Molybdenum is a naturally occurring element, and it has been used in many industries in applications ranging from armor plating and ballistics to automotive and aerospace. While Moly is also used in other alloys, such as Inconel or Hastelloy, pure Molybdenum and the stronger TZM are being used for their thermal characteristics in increasingly high-profile space missions and other defense and aerospace applications, including in weapons systems, satellites, telescopes, and more.

Properties

Material PropertyMolybdenum
Density (g/cm^3)10.22
Hardness (Rockwell A)60
Tensile Strength (MPa)324
Modulus of Elasticity (GPa)329
Compressive Strength (MPa)400
Poisson's Ratio0.31
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (1 x 10^-6/°C)5.2
Thermal Conductivity (W/m K)138
Specific Heat (J/g*K).25
*Note: Properties vary by manufacturer. The above information should be used for general reference purposes only.

related Materials

  • Kovar – Iron-Nickel-Cobalt alloy with a similar CTE to borosilicate
  • Titanium – Light-weight metal with excellent strength-to-mass ratio
  • Inconel – High temperature nickel-based superalloy with excellent mechanical proerties

With over a half-century of manned spaceflight experience, our parts have been trusted on some of mankind's proudest achievements. We look forward to working with you to bring your next project off of the drawing board and into reality.