Cobalt is a ferromagnetic metal element. Commercially, it is combined with nickel and aluminum to produce an alloy called alnico, which is used to construct strong permanent magnets. Cobalt maintains its ferromagnetic properties up to 2,012 degrees Fahrenheit, which is greater than other materials, such as samarium cobalt.
Besides its use in manufacturing powerful magnets, cobalt is used to produce alloys used in gas turbines, jet engines, stainless steel, high-temperature and high-speed cutting tools and magnetic steel. It also contains a radioactive isotope called cobalt-60 that is a crucial source of gamma rays, which makes it effective in treating some types of cancer.