From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Good article Scandium has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
January 9, 2009 Good article nominee Listed
WikiProject Elements (Rated GA-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is supported by WikiProject Elements, which gives a central approach to the chemical elements and their isotopes on Wikipedia. Please participate by editing this article, or visit the project page for more details.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the importance scale.
Version 0.5  
WikiProject icon This article has been selected for Version 0.5 and subsequent release versions of Wikipedia.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the importance scale.
Note icon
This article is within of subsequent release version of Natural sciences.

Changed format[edit]

Article changed over to new Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements format by maveric149. Elementbox converted 14:18, 2 July 2005 by Femto (previous revision was that of 13:05, 12 June 2005).

Information Sources[edit]

Some of the text in this entry was rewritten from Los Alamos National Laboratory - Scandium. Additional text was taken directly from the Elements database 20001107 (via, Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (via and WordNet (r) 1.7 (via Data for the table were obtained from the sources listed on the subject page and Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements but were reformatted and converted into SI units.

Talk Proper[edit]

Under the applications heading "...used in indoor or night-time color televisions." What does this mean? Someone, please clarify

That should not say "in" (television) but "with" (camera color reproduction), I guess. Reorganized the section. Femto 14:02, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Reduction to metal[edit]

The language

In 1937 metallic scandium was prepared for the first time by electrolysis of a eutectic melt of potassium, lithium, and scandium chlorides at 700 to 800° C.

is ambiguous, suggesting that perhaps the metal was prepared earlier than 1937, by other means. I am recasting the sentance without being absolutely certain, to save others wondering, since the plausible alternative is unlikely to have been expressed this way.
--Jerzy (t) 02:21, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)

The language

Tungsten wire in a pool of liquid zinc were the electrodes in a graphite crucible.

is ungrammatical and too vague in general. Can someone who understands what it is trying to communicate recast it, to state clearly

  • two identical electrodes, each consisting of a W wire immersed in a pool of molten Zn, or
  • one W wire electrode, and one pool of Zn, or
  • something else.

Personally i'm picturing

  • a graphite crucible containing eutectic chloride melt;
  • two pools of Zn floating on the chloride melt, or in hollows below it at the bottom of the crucible;
  • each pool making contact with both a W wire and the adjacent chloride melt;
  • Sc metal accumulating at one of the melt-Zn interfaces;
  • probably Sc metal being scraped off the solidified Zn and/or chloride melt after the apparatus was permitted to cool.

But i ain't gonna stick my neck out that far in the article.
--Jerzy (t) 02:21, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)

Actually, the melt is ambiguously described as well:

  • Sc chlorides mixed with K & Li, or
  • Sc chloride mixed with multiple chlorides of K and Li, or
  • a mixture containing the chloride of each of Sc, K, and Li.

Again, those better informed could clarify.
--Jerzy (t) 02:43, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)

Independent discovery by Cleve[edit]

This appears mostly in WP-based sources, perhaps including which confusedly contrasts (as if two discoveries of different substances; emphasis added by Jerzy)

Scandium was discovered by Lars Nilson in 1879. Per Teodor Cleve discovered scandium oxide at about the same time as Nilson.

Trivia-library quotes the curt and ambiguous "The People's Almanac" series:

Predicted by Dmitri Mendeleev of Russia in 1871. Lars Nilson of Sweden discovered its oxide in 1879, and Per Teodor Cleve of Sweden identified it later in that year.

Rare Earth Elements on the Web cites other independent element discoveries, but not this supposed one.

Ask Dr Rob says

  • 1840 Swedish chemist Lars Frederik Nilson born (died 1899). He discovered the element scandium, which he named after his native Scandinavia.
  • 1840 Swedish chemist Per Teodor Cleve, discoverer of the elements thulium and holmium born (died 1905).

The idea is likely to be the result of confusing Cleve's discovery that Sc matches Eka-B with an independent discovery. E.g., EB 1911 and Michael D. Gordin, A Well-Ordered Thing, p. 40 mention the inference but not discovery or isolation. Gordin in fact quotes Cleve (emphasis added by Jerzy)

I have the honor to inform you that your element eka-boron has been isolated. It is scandium, discovered by Nilson....

and makes a point not about Cleve working on that particular rare earth but about his being another Swede, making accessible to him what was not to Mendeleev.

I'm removing his supposed discovery of the element, pending a solid citation.
--Jerzy (t) 10:54, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)

Note that the bio Per Teodor Cleve has never endorsed this presumed error (tho it also has not mentioned his undisputedly real role).
--Jerzy (t) 15:54, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)


I've temporarily removed the small Precautions section from the article:

NFPA 704

NFPA 704
"fire diamond"
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g., water Health code 3: Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury. E.g., chlorine gas Reactivity code 2: Undergoes violent chemical change at elevated temperatures and pressures, reacts violently with water, or may form explosive mixtures with water. E.g., phosphorus Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond

Scandium burns easily, so flammibility number is incorrect. Someone please change 0 to 2. Thank you.

Both the NFPA diamond and the assertion that it is incorrect are unsourced and I've been unable to find info such as an MSDS for pure scandium to back up either claim. So I've moved it here until it can be verified one way or another. --Ed (Edgar181) 16:16, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Percentage in alloys[edit]

I have removed the last part of the sentence "at the rate of 2-5% Sc.[1]" from the Scandium market section. The 2-5% mentioned in the source is for the master alloy, which is them further diluted with the main alloy metal (aluminium) to make the final alloy product. Source is in the Aluminum-scandium master alloy section. Perhaps someone with knowlege of the final percentage used in alloys can enter this data.

Apologies for putting this in here as I'm not sure how to edit the pages properly. Just some more information.

I'm Tim Worstall and I'm mentioned elsewhere in Wikipedia as being part of the "international scandium oligopoly".

So a few bits and pieces.

That $600 price per kg is for the oxide, Sc2O3. As a rough and ready guide to value that's fine.

Finished alloys tend to be 0.1% to 0.2% scandium by weight. The 2% refers to the standard grade of the master alloy.

I would hesitate to say that scandium is "rare". It's rare to find it in any concentrated form, yes, and there are very few people who extract it from these diffuse sources. But in terms of the tonnage potentially available it isn't rare.

Light bulbs: almost all metal halide bulbs (some 100 million a year) use a sodium/scandium iodide phosphor. It's not just TV lighting. It provides "sunlight" to the spectrum of emissions.

Very little scandium is as yet used in aircraft, other than a few late Soviet designs. There might be a future use in making wings and fuselages. Two different things there. Look in a patent database for "Lenzowski + scandium" and you should find the Airbus one about wing surfaces. "A. Norman + friction stir welding" might find the one about fuselages.)

Thortveitite and kolbeckite are NOT the primary sources. No extraction has been done from these for at least a decade. There is some from Chinese rare earth mines, yes. The uranium mine tailings...not in the Ukraine at all. In Kazakhstan. There's been a long running story about the world's only scandium mine in the Ukraine and it is just that, a story. There was indeed an iron ore mine that (Zhivty Vod from memory) wished to extract it but they only ever produced a few kilos.

Further, it's not so much mine tailings, rather, the use of a technique called in situ leaching that enables Sc to be extracted from the uranium ore.

I would be amazed if there's any extraction as a result of nickel cobalt copper or PGE mining. I certainly don't know of any, although I also agree that it is possible.

Use as much or as little as you wish.

Scandium in Hessdalen, Norway ?[edit]

Some scientist think that scandium is the cause of the "UFO"-phenomen in Hessdalen, Norway. Hessdalen light.--Ezzex 17:48, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

C Class[edit]

How can this article be rated C-class when there is no such thing? See Quality Scale. I won't revert this since I have already reverted a number of identical edits from this user across wikipedia and so would like input from others. Polyamorph (talk) 15:22, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Ok, discussion started at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Chemicals#C Class. Polyamorph (talk) 16:07, 30 June 2008 (UTC)


  • William Crookes (1909). "On Scandium". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A. 209: 15–46. 
  • Werner Fischer, Karl Brünger, Hans Grieneisen (1937). "Über das metallische Scandium". Zeitschrift für anorganische und allgemeine Chemie. 231 (1-2): 54–62. doi:10.1002/zaac.19372310107. 
  • R. J. Meyer (1914). "Über das Scandium". Zeitschrift für anorganische Chemie. 86 (1): 257–290. doi:10.1002/zaac.19140860117. 
  • R. J. Meyer, Herbert Winter (1910). "Über das Scandium". Zeitschrift für anorganische Chemie. 67 (1): 398–417. doi:10.1002/zaac.19100670136. 
  • William Crookes (1909). "Über das Scandium". Zeitschrift für anorganische Chemie. 61 (1): 349–378. doi:10.1002/zaac.19090610128. 
  • R. J. Meyer (1908). "Über das Scandium". Zeitschrift für anorganische Chemie. 60 (1): 134–151. doi:10.1002/zaac.19080600108. 
  • F. L. Nilson (1879). "Ueber Scandium, ein neues Erdmetall". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft. 12 (1): 554–557. doi:10.1002/cber.187901201157. 
  • "Scandium, ein neues Erdmetall". Archiv der Pharmazie. 214 (6): 557. 1879. doi:10.1002/ardp.18792140612. 
  • doi:10.1002/zaac.19020320122
  • Zaki Ahmad (2003). "The properties and application of scandium-reinforced aluminum". Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society. 55 (2): 35–39. doi:10.1007/s11837-003-0224-6. 

--Stone (talk) 07:47, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

  • K.Venkateswarlu, L.C.Pathak, A.K.Ray, G.Das, P.K.Verma, M.Kumar and R.N.Ghosha (2004). "Microstructure, tensile strength and wear behaviour of Al–Sc alloy". Materials Science and Engineering A. 383 (2): 374–380. doi:10.1016/j.msea.2004.05.075. 
  • V. V. Zakharov (2003). "Effect of Scandium on the Structure and Properties of Aluminum Alloys". Metal Science and Heat Treatment. 45 (7-8): 246–253. doi:10.1023/A:1027368032062. --Stone (talk) 19:23, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Infobox vandalism[edit]

The infobox on this page needs attention to revert some vandalism - I do not know how to proceed on this. EmleyMoor (talk) 12:01, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Template:Infobox scandium repaired. Thanks, Vsmith (talk) 12:48, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

periodic group[edit]

I have a major gripe with the placing of Sc in a periodic group. For me it belongs in group 3, with Y, La and Ac. The picture of the periodic table which is used with all the elements is wrong, as it puts Y above Lu and Lu is a lanthanide. A better long-form table is at long-form periodic table The point is that the trivalent ions all have an electronic configuration of a noble gas. A case can be made for putting Al above Sc, but putting it above Ga is also acceptable. See talk:Yttrium for more details of my concerns. Petergans (talk) 10:18, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

And yet La is also a lanthanide, and while the tetravalent ions of Ti, Zr, Ce, and Th all have a noble gas electron configuration, nobody puts Zr above Ce. Lu has the filled f shell which Sc and Y do not have, but that is no different from the pattern elsewhere, where Ga has the filled d shell which B and Al do not have. It is breaking the pattern with La that requires justification, not following it with Lu, which is not in an obviously wrong place under Y. This justification can be done, but given that the 4f orbitals are not hydrogen-like in La and actually contribute in bonding, I think we simply have a case of an f-block element with an anomalous configuration, like Th which nobody has moved to group 4 for several decades. (Sorry for very late reply; I'm trying to see how to break down Sandbh's elaborate case into sound-bites.) Double sharp (talk) 03:37, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

I supposse hat the electron configuration of scandium is [Ar]4s23d1; I don't know how to correct the error on Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:07, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Usage in Al Alloys - The Al3Sc Compound and Point of Grain Refinement[edit]

There is serious research - e.g. by David Dunand's group at Northwestern and significant prior art (and patents?) - on using The L12 Al3Sc compound as a strengthening precipitate, since it is coherent and hence has low surface energy. Therefore Al3Sc ppts will only coarsen slowly and Al alloys strengthened by such means should have relatively good high temperature stability and creep resistance. The goal is 250+ C as a service temperature, e.g. at a service stress of 100 MPa less than 1% creep strain in 5000+ hrs. Someone interested with access to scientific journals and a patent search should probably add this into the alloys section.

Also, there are lots of purposes to adding Sc asa grain refiner (eg in welds) other than Hall-Petch strengthening. For example; hot shortness in castings due to microsegregation and dendrite arm spacing (weld solidification cracking), which was the purpose identified in the original Russian patents translated by TWI in Abington, Cambs, UK. Another reason might be improved fatigue resistance and reduced microsegregation in itself.

Recommendation: An expert in Al-Sc metallurgy should edit this section so that it actually reads correctly to a metallurgist; at the moment its a bit confused.

David.dye (talk) 19:30, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Hidden content[edit]

The following paragraphs appear in the edit window under "Production" but are hidden from readers. Why is this?

Thortveitite and kolbeckite are the primary mineral sources of scandium. Uranium-mill tailings by-products also are an important source.
World production of scandium is in the order of 2,000 kg per year, generally as a by-product of uranium and nickel-cobalt-copper or platinum group element mining. Consumption is in the order of 5,000 kg, and typically is consumed in bicycle frames in Sc-Al alloys.[citation needed] The present main source of scandium metal to meet this shortfall is from the military stockpiles of the former Soviet Union (mainly in the country of Ukraine), which were extracted from uranium tailings. There is no primary production in the Americas, Europe, or Australia, although gigantic scandium deposits are associated with uranium, nickel-copper-cobalt laterite deposits, and ultramafic rocks worldwide.[citation needed]
Scandium can also be extracted from tantalum residues, tungsten processing wastes, tin slags, and a variety of other such industrial waste streams, and it is sometimes recovered from rare earth ores, particularly the rare earth oxide deposits of Bayan Obo, China.
The strength and commerciality of the scandium market is yet to be demonstrated as it is a specialty metal and a single producer could corner the supply with minimal tonnage production. The price in 2006 of 99.0% scandium oxide is on the order of US$700 per kilogram.

--Crystal whacker (talk) 22:37, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Revision completed[edit]

I have now completed my revisions. I have two issues with the current text.

  1. The position of Sc in the periodic table in the infobox. It is quite wrong, in my opinion, to place Sc in the same group as Lu. For this reason I have not revised the lead-in. Petergans (talk) 08:36, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
  2. Isotopes. I would eliminate the section on isotopes as it duplicates what is in the info box. If need be, expand the contents of the info box at Template:Infobox scandium, beginning at isotopes.

Petergans (talk) 13:31, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

unsourced addition[edit]

The pure metal handles similarly to Carbon fibre, in that it is incredibly tough, light and inelastic. In fact it is also reminiscent of a brassy coloured cross between expanded polystyrene and concrete. Light and ultra strong. When brushed with a wire brush it emits bright blue sparks, indicating that it is pyrophoric, and likely protected by a yellow thin oxide layer, similar to Aluminium. --Stone (talk) 20:36, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Nose cones of rockets[edit]

The original use of scandium-aluminium alloys was in the nose cones of some USSR submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). The strength of the resulting nose cone was enough to enable it to pierce the ice-cap without damage, and so enable a missile launch while still submerged under the Arctic ice cap.

I found no source for this so I copied it here until somebody finds a source.--Stone (talk) 16:48, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Transition metal[edit]

Should scandium be a first-row transition metal (as it's in the first row of the transition metals) or should it be a fourth-row transition metal (as it's in the fourth period of the periodic table)? The same for titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, yttrium, zirconium, niobium, molybdenum, technetium, ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, silver, cadmium, lutetium, hafnium, tantalum, tungsten, thenium, osmium, iridium, platinum, gold, mercury, lawrencium, rutherfordium, dubnium, seaborgium, bohrium, hassium, meitnerium, darmstadtium, roentgenium and ununbium. Ditto for the period 8 elements and the period 9 elements. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:50, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

An atom of scandium can be considered as being at atom of 20Ca40 Calcium plus an additional accumulated deuteron. This unbalances it and makes it unstable. The required number of excess neutrons to stabilize it are 3. With only 2 excess neutrons it will decay back to 20Ca44. With 4, 5, or 6 extra neutrons it will advance to be a stable isotope of 22Ti Titanium.WFPM (talk) 21:44, 26 February 2012 (UTC)


Is there a better picture of the element available for the infobox? The metal is described as "silver-white" yet the picture makes it look gold colored. The Seeker 4 Talk 20:05, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

That is a thin oxide layer on the scandium. --Chemicalinterest (talk) 23:04, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Other Name for Scandium or a Related Material[edit]

I am not knowledgeable about materials or the naming of compounds but I came across an article referring to "scandate." I am going to do some more research about how scandate is related to scandium but if anyone else knows it would be a nice addition. My initial guess is that scandate is a crystal form but it is only a guess. It took me a while to find this page since I had never heard of scandium before.

This is the article that refers to scandate. J. L. Adamski, W. J. Gallagher, R. C. Kennedy and A. D. Yereniam, A High Current Injector for the Boeing Radiation Laboratory FEL Experiment, IEEE Trans. Nuc. Sci., Vol. NS-30, No. 4, Aug. 1983, p. 2696.

Luke.A.Johnson (talk) 21:38, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Scandate is a salt containing scandium and oxygen, i.e., for an element A, its scandate is AScxOy. Scandates are used in cold cathodes. Are they worth including - probably (into "compounds"), is it really essential - hardly. Materialscientist (talk) 00:26, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Greenvale scandium mine[edit]

Somebody added a place of high grade scandium minerals (results published only by the company [2]) , but the mining will not start before 2012- Should we copy the info to the talk page and wait if the project becomes reality?--Stone (talk) 06:26, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Other scandium sources include the nickel and cobalt laterite mines in Australia at Greenvale, Queensland, Syerston and Lake Innes, New South Wales, iron, tin, and tungsten deposits in China and uranium deposits in Russia and Kazakhstan. As of 2003, scandium was not being extracted from the tailings at any of these mines, but some scandium extraction may be started if there is sufficient demand.<ref name="Deschamps"/> There is currently no primary production of scandium in the Americas, Europe, or Australia.

now here--Stone (talk) 10:44, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

File:Scandium sublimed dendritic and 1cm3 cube.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Scandium sublimed dendritic and 1cm3 cube.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on April 12, 2012. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2012-04-12. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 17:09, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Picture of the day

Two samples of sublimed-dendritic scandium and an argon arc remelted 1 cm3 cube sample for comparison. Scandium is a silvery-white transition metal that is used to make aluminium alloys. Although it is common in the Earth's crust, it is distributed sparsely and occurs only in trace amounts in many minerals.

Photo: Alchemist-hp
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

Use as a metallic filter[edit]

Scandium, in the form of a thin solid filter, is sometimes used as a calibration tool for soft x-ray spectrometers, where the L-absorption edge at 400eV is used as a reference point. I stumbled across this in a journal article: .If someone knows of a subscription free reference for this point it may be worth adding to the relevant section in the Scandium Wikipedia article. Dtlloyd (talk) 10:15, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Use of Al-Sc alloy in the MiG-29 - wrong citation?[edit]

The article states that Al-Sc alloys were used in the Russian MiG-21 and MiG-29 fighters, citing <ref>Ahmad, Zaki (February 2003). "The properties and application of scandium-reinforced aluminum". JOM. 55 (2): 35–39. doi:10.1007/s11837-003-0224-6. </ref>. However, the article only has this to say about the MiG-29:

The development of Al-Sc alloys first flourished in the Soviet Union, where military demand was the main driving force. At the time of the Soviet Union break-up, scandium alloys were on the verge of major application in MIG 29 fighters because of their advantages over the low density and high strength of Al-Mg, Al-Li, and other recent alloys.

This does not seem to imply in any way that Al-Sc alloys were ever actually used in the MiG-29. In addition, the article does not mention the MiG-21 at all. Should I go ahead and remove the offending paragraphs and the image, or is there something else that should be done first? Ferbivore (talk) 18:12, 24 January 2015 (UTC)


(This formula appears once in the article...) For a long time it was assumed that Sc would form this ion, like the next few transition metals, but the Sc–O distance is longer than what would be predicted for the 6-coordinate ion. Additionally the Raman spectra of aqueous solutions are inconsistent with this. Sc usually forms instead the 7-coordinate aqua ion [Sc(H2)7]3+, which could actually have been predicted right from the start due to size considerations. Of course, the 6-coordinate ion can very well occur in solid hydrated salts, as can the 9-coordinate one like the lanthanides' (stabilized by hydrogen bonding). (Ref: Cotton, Lanthanide and Actinide Chemistry, pp.108–9). Double sharp (talk) 21:14, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Update global usage figures?[edit]

In the lead section, global trade in Scandium is quoted at 50 kg per year on average, yet in the Applications section it's stated that 80 kg of the metal are used each year in halide lamps. Does the latter refer to the halide, or are the figures out-of-date? — Preceding unsigned comment added by PeterReid (talkcontribs) 09:13, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Scandium/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

A chemistry section would be nice.

Last edited at 12:01, 13 November 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 05:33, 30 April 2016 (UTC)