Not Just For Magnets, Scarce Earths Also Crop Up

Not Just For Magnets, Scarce Earths Also Crop Up

Rare earth metals have been in the news a lot lately. Most of the notice these materials have received has had to do with their applications in the creation of permanent magnets. Ever since researchers first discovered how to create powerful, permanent magnets from rare earth metals in the 1970s and 1980s, they have become increasingly important for a wide variety of purposes.

While rare earths and compounds like neodymium that are derived from them are commonly used for the creation of magnets, there are other significant uses for them, too. One of the most important of these is the employment of a rare earth known as cerium to create special Radiation Glasses that stand up under even the harshest of ionizing radiation.

Cerium is, in fact, the most common of all rare earths, giving further lie to a name that many have noted is somewhat misleading. Cerium is found all over the globe, but it crops up in the greatest concentrations in places like China where other rare earths are also abundant.

Those who Buy Radiation Glasses from suppliers like health care equipment today will almost always find that cerium and other rare earths are used to create the products. As with other forms of glass treatment, the rare earth cerium is worked into the structure of the glass in a way that aims at preserving the transparency and other impressive and useful optical properties of the substance.

The Best Radiation Glasses will allow light transmission to a degree that almost matches that of entirely untreated glass. In virtually every case, though, being able to block harmful radiation will also entail a loss of some transmittance when it comes to particular wavelengths of visible light.

Most commonly, a loss of transmittance in the frequencies that are most visible as yellow light is to be expected. While this is not entirely desirable as an outcome in some applications, it can almost always be worked around in effective ways. In cases where it would be entirely unacceptable to lose transmittance across these wavelengths, manufacturers may instead look to other rare earth materials for usage in coatings and treatments.

In practice, though, cerium-treated glass is by far the most common of all of those that are designed to stand up to intense, ionizing radiation. Just as rare earths are important for the construction of powerful permanent magnets for use in a wide range of devices, their applications in treated, radiation-resistant optical glass are also significant.