Molybdenum metal was first applied as wires in incandescent lamps at the beginning of the 20th century. Because of its stability and strength at elevated temperatures it was the ideal materials for this. Other properties included high thermal and electrical conductivity. It also creates a strong bond with glass. Molybdenum is usually produced using powder metallurgy techniques in which Molybdenum powder is hydrostatically compacted and sintered at about 2100°C. Molybdenum forms a volatile oxide when heated in air above about 600°C and therefore high temperature applications are limited to non-oxidizing or vacuum environments.
Their high ductility and toughness provide a greater tolerance for imperfections and brittle fracture than ceramics.