(MENAFN- Coherent Market Insights) Osmium is an element with the symbol Os and atomic number 77. It's a silvery, fragile, brittle transition metal occurring mainly in platinum groups, predominantly in white gold and platinum forges, where it's found as a byproduct of the mixing of titanium and silver. It was the very last metal to be discovered by surveyors because it's very soft and ductile, so it is used extensively for casting jewelry.
The most common use for osmium is as alloy content in precious metal jewelry. Osmium works extremely well as an alloy to help reduce weight in high alloy steels and also as a binder in high alloy alloys (like in stainless steel) for stronger, lighter, and more ductile constructions. It's typically used as a decorative metal for rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and pendants because of its unique physical properties. Osmium has a very soft crystalline structure which is similar to the composition of the diamond, but much less dense. Its chemical makeup consists mostly of aluminum and oxygen with traces of phosphorus and sulfur within it.
Since it is so fragile, osmium metal is susceptible to scratching and chipping, which can diminish its aesthetic qualities. Though this is not to say that it's not worth the effort because the qualities of osmium are enhanced in fine jewelry using it. Osmium does tarnish though so it needs to be stored properly to avoid damage.
The main driving factors influencing the osmium market is its significant properties such as hardness and stability. These characteristics aid in creating high-quality fountain pens and ballpoint pens, record player needles, rings, gramophone needles, instrument pivots, compass needles, and several other devices that are prone to a lot of wear and tear. For instance, according to Apex Office Products, Inc., over 2 billion pens are manufactured annually in the U.S.
However, the rarity and expensiveness of osmium are the main restraining factors hindering the market growth. Pure osmium normally costs between US$ 12000 to US$ 14000 per kilogram and osmium-187 is a costlier and advantageous isotope that costs between US$ 150000 to US$ 250000. Additionally, the availability of cheaper substitute products such as tungsten that is used in filaments of light bulbs is estimated to influence the global osmium market negatively.
This market is distributed in five regions that include North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa, and Latin America. Among these North America is estimated to hold a significant share of the osmium market owing to the availability of cheaper osmium in the region backed by favorable trade policies. For instance, according to Engelhard Industrial Bullion, in 2018 per ounce of osmium in the U.S. was approximately US$ 400. The market in South Africa is estimated to witness significant growth owing to the presence of the largest osmium reserve in the region.
Key players operating in the global osmium market include Cleantech, American Elements, Ceimig Limited, and Reade International Corp.
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