What are the Common and Industrial Uses of Manganese?

Unfortunately, the pure form of some metals has undesirable qualities that prevent them from being utilized in industrial applications. Unfortunately, manganese is too fragile to be used on its own. However, manganese has many valuable properties when combined with other basic metals like iron, steel, and super alloys to produce new materials. Thanks to its desirable mechanical and structural properties, manganese is gaining in demand and utilization.

The metallurgical industry makes extensive use of manganese in a variety of different processes. Although its primary value is in the metallurgical industry (where it is used to create steel and aluminum alloys), manganese has many additional applications in other sectors.

It’s also worth noting that manganese plays a crucial role in human nutrition. Although manganese isn’t in high demand by the human body, it serves numerous essential biological functions and is commonly found in supplemental forms.

Manganese Properties

When refined, manganese becomes a white metal with a silvery sheen, but in its natural state, it is too fragile to be manipulated. Therefore, despite the presence of ferromagnetic compounds and properties, this metal is not classified in the same category as iron. However, it may be used to enhance the properties of other ferromagnetic metals when combined with them.

For example, adding manganese to the steel melt makes it harder, stronger, and more rigid. This is true whether the steel in question is carbon steel, stainless steel, high-temperature steel, or tool steel. These properties are also transferred to other metals, including super alloys and cast iron. Aluminum, copper, magnesium, and zinc are all examples of non-ferrous metals that might benefit from adding the metal, which acts as a gas remover in the melting process and deoxidizes the metal. In addition, the metal’s ability to bind sulfur makes it useful for preventing corrosion.

Manganese Availability

Manganese ranks as the world’s fifth most common metal. However, it is mostly mined in Australia, Brazil, and Gabon, among other African countries. Chinese, Norwegian, Japanese, South Korean, and Indian companies are among the largest buyers of this metal. Since it is regarded as a substance with strategic importance in the U. S., the federal government has been hoarding it ever since 1916.


Steel Making

One of the earliest applications of Manganese is in steel manufacture. It is used in minimal amounts in this application but plays an important role. Manganese is responsible for the high-strength and sturdiness of the different steel products in the market. With the rising demand of steel products, a high percentage of the manganese supply is consumed by this industry. As a result of the ore’s ability to make steel more resistant to oxidation, manganese is frequently utilized in producing stainless steel. The incorporation of manganese into a steel can potentially increase not just the material’s overall strength but also its workability. Hadfield Steel, which is a kind of steel-manganese alloy, is well-known for its combination of these two materials.


Manganese’s versatility allows for alloying with copper, iron, nickel, etc. It deoxidizes and  improves the strength and ductility of its alloys. Manganese can also be used to enhance the corrosion resistance and thermal conductivity of different materials. Manganese alloys are used in the automotive, electronic and petrochemical industries.


Gemstones are precious rocks or minerals which are popular for their attractiveness and rarity. Interestingly, manganese makes up a significant percentage of some gems. It is responsible for the vibrant coloring in some gem types. Manganese carbonate and manganese phosphate are some of the gem elements.

Alkaline Batteries

Manganese is a common component in disposable alkaline batteries. It is used to create high capacity batteries. Manganese dioxide is used on the outer part of the zinc anode. It offers benefits like improved diffusion and lower resistance. It is also popular in the battery industry for cost effectiveness.

Biomedical and Biochemical Applications

Manganese is put to use in a variety of different ways in the biomedical and biochemical fields. However, most organisms only use manganese in extremely minute quantities for their metabolic functions. This general principle applies to the human body as well. 

Enzymes rely on manganese to operate properly, and this mineral is incredibly crucial. Numerous processes rely on these enzymes. Some can help restore damaged tissues. Some are anti-inflammatory, and others are antioxidants. In addition, manganese is used by other enzymes that contribute to the formation of strong, healthy bones.

Given its wide range of physiological applications, manganese is frequently included in multivitamins and mineral formulations. The use of manganese in dietary supplements in low to moderate amounts is either valuable or safe. However, the human body does not have the cellular machinery to handle significant quantities of this mineral, making manganese hazardous at high concentrations.

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