Question Video: Identifying an Application of Scandium Chemistry

Which of the following is one of the applications of scandium? [A] Manufacturing of artificial joints [B] Leather tanning [C] Manufacturing of MiG fighter jets [D] Metal plating [E] Manufacturing of car springs


Video Transcript

Which of the following is one of the applications of scandium? (A) Manufacturing of artificial joints, (B) leather tanning, (C) manufacturing of MiG fighter jets, (D) metal plating, or (E) manufacturing of car springs.

The question talks about the element scandium or Sc. Scandium is found here on the periodic table. Specifically, it is the first element in the period four d block elements, in other words, the first element of the first transition series. The first transition series metals shown here are very useful metals. They are economically and socially important. Now, the question asks about one of the applications of scandium. When just a little bit of scandium is added to aluminum, the resulting alloy, which is lightweight because of the aluminum, becomes harder. The unique combination of being lightweight and hard is perfect for use in aircraft.

Of the given answer options, the application of scandium is the manufacturing of MiG fighter jets, or rather, some of their components. Artificial joints are commonly made from a variety of materials mixed together: ceramics, plastics, and metal. Titanium is the metal of choice in artificial joints because it is lightweight and strong and shows no toxic effect with human tissue.

Unlike some other metals, leather tanning is achieved through the use of various compounds of chromium. The collagen proteins are cross-linked by the chromium, and this stabilizes the leather, giving a durability and a long life span.

Many metals can be used in plating, but of the period four metals, chromium is the most common in this application. A thin layer of chromium is electroplated onto other metal parts to create a hard, corrosion-resistant, and very shiny surface. We call this chrome. You may have seen some chrome-plated metal components on motorcycles.

Car springs are typically made of steel. Steel is largely composed of iron, along with some carbon. The combination of iron and carbon and steel give a very strong alloy. Although very heavy, steel would not be suitable to make MiG fighter jet components.

Of the answer options, the application of scandium is manufacturing of MiG fighter jets or their components.

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