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Science Innovation Centre · 020 · Calcium

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The chemical element Calcium (Ca), atomic number 20, is the fifth element and the third most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. The metal is trim orphic, harder than sodium, but softer than aluminium.

Calcium ions solved in water form deposits in pipes and boilers and when the water is hard, that is, when it contains too much calcium or magnesium. This can be avoided with the water softeners. In contact with air, calcium develops an oxide and nitride coating, which protects it from further corrosion. It burns in the air at a high temperature to produce nitride.

The commercially produced metal reacts easily with water and acids and it produces hydrogen which contains remarkable amounts of ammonia and hydro carbides as impurities.

The metal is used in aluminium alloys for bearings, as a helper in the bismuth removal form lead, as well as in controlling graphitic carbon in melted iron. It is also used as a deoxidizer in the manufacture of many steels; as a reducing agent in the preparation of metals as chromium, thorium, zirconium and uranium, and as separating material for gaseous mixtures of nitrogen and argon. Calcium is an alloying used in the production of aluminium, beryllium, copper, lead and magnesium alloys. It is also used in making cements and mortar that are used in buildings.