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Alkaline earth metals refer to a group of elements in the periodic table. They include beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium, and radium. Main uses of these elements are given below.
Beryllium: It is used in small amounts to make copper beryllium alloy that are very strong and hard. These alloys are used to make hand tools to be used in environment where sparking is considered a fire hazard. It is also used in making small precision bearings. Alloys of nickel and beryllium are used for making components that need to withstand very high temperatures.
Magnesium: Magnesium is an element important for all living beings, as a constituent of chlorophyll responsible for photo-synthesis in plants. Magnesium, being light and strong metal, its alloy with aluminum and zinc finds many uses in construction and in manufacture of airplane.
Calcium: It is an important nutrient for us forming a major percentage of our bones and teeth. Its compounds such as limestone and gypsum are used as building materials since ancient times, and continue to be used today also directly or as raw material for making other construction material. Marble used as decorative stone in construction is also a compound of calcium. Lime is used for in many industrial processes such as steel refining, paper making, food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, toothpaste, chewing gum, and vitamins. It is also used for treating industrial waste.
Strontium: Compounds are widely used in fireworks and flares for the red color they produce when burnt. Strontium carbonate is used as a glass additive. Strontium hydroxide is used for refining beet sugar.
Barium: Barium sulfate, in well-drilling operations as a lubricating mud. A form of barium sulfate called barium meal is used in medical field to examine functioning of digestive process of patients through X-ray.
the alkaline earth metals include: beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium, and radium. beryllium is used to make some types of alloys (mixtures of two or more metals). Magnesium is also used in alloys for construction and in machinery like airplane parts. Calcium is important in building strong bones and used as a nutritional supplement. Calcium is also a part of the compound calcium carbonate which is a key component of cement. Strontium burns with a red color and is used in the manufacture of fireworks. Radium is radioactive and has medical applications such as cancer treatment, and as a tracer for medical imaging, although because safer radioactive elements have been discovered it is rarely used any more.
Beryllium is mostly used for military applications,but there are other uses of beryllium as well. In electronics, beryllium is used as a p-type dopant in some semiconductors, and beryllium oxide is used as a high-strength electrical insulator and heat conductor. Due to its light weight and other properties, beryllium is also used in mechanics when stiffness, light weight, and dimensional stability are required at wide temperature ranges.
Magnesium has many different uses. One of its most common uses was in industry, where it has many structural advantages over other materials such as aluminium, although this usage has fallen out of favor recently due to magnesium's flammability.Magnesium is also often alloyed with aluminium or zinc to form materials with more desirable properties than any pure metal. Magnesium has many other uses in industrial applications, such as having a role in the production of iron and steel, and the production of titanium.
Calcium also has many uses. One of its uses is as a reducing agent in the separation of other metals form ore, such as uranium. It is also used in the production of the alloys of many metals, such as aluminium and copper alloys, and is also used to deoxidize alloys as well. Calcium also has a role in the making of cheese, mortars, and cement.
Strontium and barium do not have as many applications as the lighter alkaline earth metals, but still have uses. Strontium carbonate is often used in the manufacturing of red fireworks,and pure strontium is used in the study of neurotransmitter release in neurons. Barium has some use in vacuum tubes to remove gases, and barium sulfate has many uses in the petroleum industry, as well as other industries.
Due to its radioactivity, radium no longer has many applications, but it used to have many. Radium used to be used often in luminous paints, although this use was stopped after workers got sick. As people used to think that radioactivity was a good thing, radium used to be added to drinking water, toothpaste, and many other products, although they are also not used anymore due to their health effects. Radium is no longer even used for its radioactive properties, as there are more powerful and safer emitters than radium
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