Scandium is the 21st element on the periodic table and is represented by the symbol Sc. It was discovered by Lars Fredrik Nilson in 1879. In its pure form it is silvery-white material and is solid at room temperature. It is commonly produced as a by-product during the extraction of uranium and iron. Worldwide production remains low, which reduces the applications of this chemical element.
Uses of scandium
Scandium is added to aluminum to create a very strong alloy that is used in the aerospace industry. The Russian military aircraft MiG-21 and MiG-29 utilized this material. Due to the high cost, alloys of titanium are much more commonly used in aircraft.
Scandium alloys are also used in some high performance sporting equipment. This includes baseball bats, racing bicycles and lacrosse sticks. There is at least one gun making company that uses scandium alloys in their revolvers.
Scandium iodide, is used with sodium iodide to create gas-discharge lamps. They are a powerful light source and are commonly used to replicate sunlight for television cameras.
A radioactive isotope of scandium is used on oil rigs as a tracing agent to assist in crude oil analysis.