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The fleet that commited suicide

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  • #16
    Originally posted by the ace View Post
    The problem is Cobalt. The iron ore we produce now has more cobalt in it than the older resources used before WWI

    You can separate cobalt (and other transition elements, like manganese and scandium) from iron ore, but it's difficult, and therefore expensive. Like anything else, iron ore is a finite resource (not that we're going to run out of it any time soon), and the purer deposits have long since been used up.
    The problem is not cobalt per se. Cobalt is used to make certain high speed steels and is introduced into the molten steel rather than being in the iron ore. The problem is that nuclear explosions produced radio active isotopes of cobalt. Steel is an alloy of iron and small quantities of other metals or chemicals (like carbon) and steel making involves processes ensuring that exactly the right amount of whatever alloying material is used is introduced into the molten iron. Not too much and not too little. Some steel processes actually remove material so that for example the Bessemer process removed some carbon which was introduced during the smelting process from the fuel used. It did this by blowing air through the molten iron and some carbon atoms combined with the oxygen to form CO2
    The problem is that the environment today contains non stable Cobalt isotopes and it is very difficult for processes to distinguish between stable cobalt and its non stable isotope. The amount of Cobalt isotope that normally gets into steel is so small as to make no practical difference for day to day use as the gamma rays produced are swamped by the normal background radiation but if the steel is used in very sensitive instruments it becomes a problem. Steel at normal temperature is relatively inert so that merely being exposed to air will not introduce the isotope to it however steel that has been subjected to large amounts of neutron bombardment will contain some.
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

      I seriously doubt your claim to being that old given your almost complete lack of any understanding of America before the Give-Away Era. Nothing bout you or your posts shows even the smallest hint of the character or conceptual grasp of those of us born before the dawn of the Nuclear Age. You come across totally as a member of the Entitled Generation.
      Feeling somewhat peckish today again, are we?
      The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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      • #18
        Originally posted by marktwain View Post

        Feeling somewhat peckish today again, are we?
        Maybe some people but in my case - still got all my marbles (even if the rest of the corpus is getting a bit rocky) so don't take too much notice of some senescent rants
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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        • #19
          Originally posted by MarkV View Post

          Maybe some people but in my case - still got all my marbles (even if the rest of the corpus is getting a bit rocky) so don't take too much notice of some senescent rants
          Thanks
          It was Clement Atlee's favorite response to Winston Churchill in the unity government, and after, - when they were back on opposite sides of the house..
          The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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