Huge ferrochrome crystal
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|Huge ferrochrome crystal. |
This polycrystalline chunk of ferrochrome weighs about 30 pounds, and it's the smaller of two weighing a total of nearly 100 pounds, which I got from a guy in trade for 5 grams of thorium foil. I think that's got to be some kind of world record for weight disparity in element trading!
This looks a lot like a slab of bismuth broken crystal, which is the standard way bismuth is sold. The top and bottom surfaces are relatively smooth, and between them crystals have grown into each other. (I figure they must pour the material between two plates, then break it up into manageable pieces.) The difference is that while the bismuth slabs are about one and a quarter inches thick, this ferrochrome material must have come from a slab about eight inches thick. This gives an indication of just how much of this stuff must be used by industry (primarily as a master alloy for mixing in with much larger amounts of iron to make chrome-bearing steel alloys).
Acquired: 15 July, 2005