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The mineral, which contained the metal was discovered in 1748 by Swedish army lieutenant Mineralogy-lover Karl Arrhenius near the town of Ytterbium. He was named ytterbium, subsequently renamed gadolinium, on behalf of scientists engaged in its development. He found a new element of 38% of an unknown metal, even in the latter revealed many unknown metal. In 1843, Carl Mosander divided 38% for these three components, three oxide: a colorless, brown and pink. Colorless oxide was yttria. Three oxides of additional elements were allocated from yttrium oxide in 1879 – ytterbium, tuliya and scandium, which Mendeleev had predicted. Lutecium, another element, was added to them in. Yttrium metal was obtained in 1828 Friedrich Veler.


The most widespread use of yttrium is in the nuclear industry. Yttrium has a small section of the capture of thermal neutrons, and can be used in reactors. Pipes are made of yttrium, which flows uranium or plutonium fuel. Since yttrium does not react with these metals metal pipes persist longer. Aluminum alloys with yttrium is very light and strong, that allows to use it in aircraft. Additions of yttrium to the stainless steel makes it less prone oxidizability at high temperatures. Oxid yttria performed one of the most refractory metals, which found practical application in the steel industry.

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