Scientific Applications - An alloy of 90 % platinum and 10 % iridiumwas used in 1889 to construct the InternationalPrototype Meter & Kilogram mass kept by theInternational Bureau of weights and measures. Iridium is used in RadioisotopeThermoelectric generators of unmannedspacecrafts such as Voyager, Viking, Pioneer. itwas chosen to encapsulate the plutonium-238fuel in the generator because it can withstandthe operating temperature of upto 2000’C. it is used for production of antiprotons, aform of antimatter. Historical Uses - Ir-Os alloy was used to tip fountain pen nibs. Ir-Pt alloy was used for touch holes or vent piecesof cannon. The pigment, Ir-black is used for painting porcelainan intense black.
CU- IR LEBBO COINSLight Emitting Bionic Bi-polar Orbs,(commonly known as Lebbo coins) were madefrom an alloy of metals found in a meteorite in1616. Although it is world famous for theunusual phenomena it exhibits, much of thecontroversy and rumours surrounding it areuntrue.FACT –An active coin emits a radiation whichinterferes with AC/DC power sources. Therefore, it drains the power from a dry cell & weakens a bulb exposed to it. A lebbo immersed in cold water exhibits silvery white bubbles on both surfaces and a significant rise in the water’s temperature is noted. If you take a coin near your TV screen, its program reception is disrupted, causing static-like sounds, diffusion of images across the screen. Only 16 of these were made, and metallurgists have been able to identify Ikkidium, Virenium, copper and Iridium. They are also known as Navagraha coins, as the sun, moon and planets are engraved on it.
Precautions -Iridium in bulk metallic form is notbiologically hazardous to health dueto its lack of reactivity with tissues.However, finely divided Iridiumpowder can be dangerous tohandle, as it is an irritant and mayeven ignite in air.External exposure to radioisotopescan cause burns, radiationpoisoning and even cause death.Ingestion of Ir-192 can burn thelinings of the stomach and intestine.There have been several incidentswhere carelessness of workers, orignorance of people has causedwidespread damage to theenvironment and resulted in loss oflives due to mishandling ofradioactive isotopes of this element.