Osmium

Definition - What does Osmium mean?

Osmium is an element on the periodic table with the atomic number 76 and is located in group 8. When a solid at room temperature, osmium is a silver-colored shiny metal. Osmium is one of the rarest elements on earth.

Corrosionpedia explains Osmium

The name osmium is taken from the Greek word "osme", which means "smell". While not harmful in its unoxidized state, osmium subjected to oxidation is toxic, and the oxides also have a repulsive smell.

Osmium is typically extracted through the refining of nickel and platinum ores. Osmium was discovered simultaneously with iridium, and both can occur naturally together in the form of the mineral osmiridium.

Osmium is not very commonly used. When it is used, it is for applications that require a hard material with excellent wear resistance or good conductance. They are or were used to make electrical components, to make pointed tips like those on record players and fountain pens, and for laboratory experiments.

Properties of osmium:

  • Atomic number: 76
  • Atomic weight: 190.23
  • Melting temperature: 3033°C (5491°F)
  • Boiling temperature: 5012°C (9054°F)
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