Cadmium is a white-silvery metal that is relatively rare and can also be poisonous. Cadmium is often used in the electrical, HVAC, and welding industries. Cadmium has a low melting temperature and tarnishes in moist air; it is ductile and very malleable. Cadmium has a very high neutron absorbing cross-section and as a result is used for neutron shielding in the nuclear industry.
India is amongst the biggest consumers of Cadmium. Cadmium producing countries are such as South Korea, China, Germany, Japan,the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Peru and Mexico.
There are rare ores that contain cadmium. This mineral is produced as a by-product from zinc's sulfide ores mining, smelting and refining. Therefore, it is mainly produced in areas where zinc is refined. When the iron and steel scrap are recycled, the dust is generated, which is regarded as a secondary source for the production of small amounts of cadmium.
- Hydrated cadmium sulfate (3CdSO4-5H2O), one of cadmium's compounds, is used in a device called a Weston cell, a type of battery that produces a precise voltage used to calibrate medical and laboratory equipment.
- In 2009, 86% of cadmium was used in batteries, predominantly in rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries Cadmium is commonly used in electric batteries, pigments, coatings, and electroplating.. Cadmium electroplating, consuming 6% of the global production, is used in the aircraft industry to reduce corrosion of steel components.
- Cadmium Used in Imitation jewellery.
- Cadmium is alloyed with silver to form solder, a metal with a relatively low melting point used to join electrical components, pipes and other metallic items. Cadmium based solders must be handled with care to prevent cadmium poisoning. Cadmium alloys are also used to make low friction bearings that are highly resistant to fatigue.
- Cadmium sulfide (CdS), another cadmium compound, is a yellow powder that is used as a pigment. Other cadmium compounds are used in the phosphors of black and white television sets and in the blue and green phosphors in color television sets.
- Cadmium compounds are applicable in black and white television phosphors as well as blue and green phosphors for color TV picture tubes.