Lead Machining

Molybdenum is a greek word for lead.  The free element, which is a silvery metal, has the sixth-highest melting point of any element. It readily forms hard, stable carbides, and for this reason it is often used in high-strength steel alloys. Molybdenum does not occur as the free metal in nature, but rather in a variety of oxidation states in minerals. Industrially molybdenum compounds are used in high-pressure and temperature resistant greases between metals, as pigments, and catalysts.


Speeds up to 200 feet per minute, with a depth of cut up to 1/8", are satisfactory for rough turning. The feed should be 0.015 I.P.R. For finishing work, speeds up to 400 feet per minute, with a depth cut of 0.005" to 0.015", and a feed of 0.005" to 0.010", should be used.  It is very important, in turning, that the depth of cut always be greater than 0.005". If depth cut is less, tool wear will be excessive.

Molybdenum has a tendency to chip while being machined.  You must have a rigid set up and machines should be sufficiently powerful.  Coolant flow is essential.


The ability of molybdenum to withstand extreme temperatures without significantly expanding or softening makes it useful in applications that involve intense heat, including the manufacture of aircraft parts, electrical contacts, industrial motors, and filaments.  Molybdenum is also used in alloys for its high corrosion resistance and weldability.

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