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The refractory metals include niobium, tantalum, molybdenum, tungsten, and rhenium. These metals are considered refractory because of their high melting points, high-temperature mechanical stability, and resistance to softening at elevated temperatures. This article discusses the composition, properties, fabrication procedures, advantages and disadvantages, and applications of these refractory metals and their alloys. A comparison of some of the properties of the refractory metals with those of iron, copper, and aluminum is given in a table. The article concludes with a brief section on refractory metal protective coatings.

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