Rhenium (Re)

Last updated: September 12, 2019

What Does Rhenium (Re) Mean?

Rhenium (Re) is a silver-colored metallic element that is corrosion resistant in nature, with a high melting point. It is widely used in the production of high-temperature superalloys that are used to make engine parts such as the blades in turbine engines.


Corrosionpedia Explains Rhenium (Re)

Rhenium was discovered by Noddack, Tacke and Berg in 1925. It garnered interest and closer examination because the element was found in platinum ore and columbite. They also observed the element in gadolinite and molybdenite.

When alloyed with platinum, rhenium is a key catalyst in petroleum refining and high-octane hydrocarbon production, which facilitate the production of lead-free gasoline.

The process to consolidate the usually powdered form of rhenium involves sintering in a hydrogen vacuum atmosphere, which produces a compact shape. When annealed, rhenium is very ductile.

Only three elements have a density higher than that of rhenium: platinum, iridium and osmium. Only two elements have a melting point that is greater: tungsten and carbon.

Some properties of rhenium:

  • Atomic number: 75
  • Atomic weight: 186.2
  • Melting point 3,185°C (5,765°F)
  • Boiling point: 5,596°C (10,105°F)
  • Specific gravity: 20.8 at 20°C (68°F)


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