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Tantalum The Process
Aug 11, 2017

Tantalum-niobium ore is the main raw material for the production of tantalum, Tantalum but Tantalum and niobium ore is often accompanied by a variety of metals, so the main steps of tantalum smelting is to decompose concentrate, purify and separate tantalum, niobium, in order to produce tantalum, Tantalum niobium pure compounds, and finally make metal.

The decomposition of ores can be decomposed by hydrofluoric acid decomposition, sodium hydroxide melting and chlorination. The separation of tantalum and niobium can be made by solvent extraction (the commonly used extractant is methyl isobutyl copper (MIBK), tributyl phosphate (TBP), Tantalum Octanol and Acetamide), step crystallization method and ion-exchange method.

The preparation of metal tantalum is the process of reducing the pure tantalum compound to metal tantalum by reducing agent. The pure tantalum compound materials used are tantalum oxide, Tantalum tantalum chloride, tantalum hexafluoride and fluorine salts (such as K2TAF7). Reducing agents are sodium, magnesium and other active metals and carbon and hydrogen. The melting point of tantalum is as high as 3669K, Tantalum so it is a powder-like or sponge-body metal after reduction. Further smelting or refining is required to obtain dense metals.

The preparation methods of metal tantalum mainly include the production of tantalum powder by sodium-heat reduction method, the production of tantalum powder by carbon-heat reduction method and the electrolytic process of molten salts. Sodium-thermal reduction of potassium fluoride is one of the most widely used tantalum production methods in the world, and the size of tantalum powder is complex and the specific surface area is large, Tantalum which is suitable for manufacturing capacitors. The carbon-thermal reduction of tantalum pentoxide is an industrially mature tantalum production method, but the purity of the product is not as high as the sodium reduction method. The molten salt electrolysis method is divided into two methods, including oxygen electrolyte electrolysis and oxygen-free electrolyte electrolysis by electrolyte composition. Molten salt electrolysis process can only produce metallurgical grade tantalum powder. Tantalum hydride reduction is considered as one of the most promising tantalum production methods, Tantalum but it has not been used in industrial production because of the high requirement of equipment material and environmental protection.

Most tantalum powders are used directly as tantalum capacitors in the manufacture of electronic industry, Tantalum so the processing of tantalum powder, such as the preparation of tantalum powder by capacitor grade and the vacuum heat treatment of tantalum powder by hydride method, Tantalum is also a kind of metal tantalum system.

Production of tantalum powder by sodium-thermal reduction method, that is, the process of reduction of potassium fluoride into metal tantalum powder by sodium metal in inert atmosphere, Tantalum is an important method of making tantalum powder for capacitor grade and the main method of producing metal tantalum powder (including metallurgical grade tantalum powder) in industry, the metal tantalum powder is suitable for anode material of tantalum electrolytic capacitor, and can be refined by tantalum electron beam smelting, tantalum vacuum arc smelting or tantalum vacuum sintering process, which is made of high purity tantalum ingot or tantalum rod, Tantalum and then processed into various tantalum materials.

In order to obtain high purity tantalum powder, in addition to the main raw materials such as potassium fluoride, sodium and diluent sodium chloride (or nacl+kci), Tantalum argon (or helium) must meet the required purity, but also at different temperatures in advance through strict dehydration treatment. Potassium fluoride sometimes requires vacuum heat treatment at 598~648k temperatures, commonly known as activation. The residual organic matter and the fluorine-hydrogen acid can be removed by the vacuum heat treatment of potassium fluoride, Tantalum and the fine tantalum powder will be obtained in the reduction. Since the 1970s, the addition of doping agent has been widely used to improve the capacitance of tantalum powder. The commonly used doping agent is phosphate, Tantalum which can be mixed before or after crystallization of potassium fluoride, and can also be mixed before the vacuum heat treatment of tantalum powder.

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