What with all this going on about Rolls Royce jet engines falling apart in mid air, was amused to be offered some ammonium perrhenate. This is the precursor to rhenium metal, which is then used as an alloying additive for the nickel turbine blades in such Rolls Royce engines.
Indeed, jet engines are the world\’s major use of the metal (about 70%).
Sadly, I had to tell the seller that he was about 2 years out of date on his prices. The new engines use about half of the rhenium that the old ones did as a result of new alloys being developed. We\’re thus down from the heady days of $10,000 a kg rhenium and in the doldrums of $2,000 a kg stuff.
And even at that price there\’d be a tough time trying to sell it.
There is, of course, no real connection between the two stories. Just found it interesting that both crossed my desk at the same time.