Discovered in 1803 in London by S. Tennant. Iridium is a rare, precious metal which is hard, brittle and has a low ductility, which makes it a difficult material to work. In appearance, it is a lustrous, silvery metal. It has an abundance in the earth's crust of approximately 3x10⁻⁶ ppm. As might be expected from its position in the periodic table, iridium is stable to air and water and is not attacked by any acids, including "aqua regia" (this acid is used to separate iridium from the other platinum group metals). However, fused NaOH will attack iridium. It is extremely corrosion resistant and is used as an alloying agent with metals such as gold and osmium to produce alloys which are extremely hard and have good corrosion resistance. Iridium is also used in spark plugs, and its radioactive isotope, ¹⁹²Ir is a medium energy gamma emitter used for industrial radiography.
Small particles with an approximately defined size range. Those materials described as alloy precursors are not true alloys - they are made by sintering a blend of powders of the component metals to achieve alloying by diffusion. The resultant cake is ground and sieved to the required particle size range. Unless otherwise stated, the particle sizes shown are for guidance only. We do not guarantee either any particular size distribution between the quoted minimum and maximum sizes, or a specific particle shape.