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What is Chromium?

natural chromium

Chromium Often Abbreviated to Chrome

Chromium is a steely grey coloured lustrous metal discovered in 1797.  Although extremely hard it's also brittle.  On Mohs scale of mineral hardness chromium grades 8.5.

Chrome is often used as an alloy because of its resistance to tarnishing.  When alloyed with iron it prevents rust.

When combined with steel the material becomes known as stainless steel.  Chromium helps steel become more resistant to corrosion and discolouration.  

Chrome takes on a high polish, has a high melting point and is relatively flexible.  It has no odour or taste.  The name comes from the Greek word chrōma meaning 'colour' because all chromium compounds are particularly colourful.

The presence of chromium in the mineral corundum turns it red.  Gem grade red corundum is ruby.

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