Silvery-white as a metal; pink as erbium oxide
As the metal is very brittle, it reacts relatively weak with air. It reacts with water to erbium hydroxide, whereas erbium oxide is insoluble in water and has a cubic crystal structure.
The main application of erbium is in the glass industry, where it is used to produce infrared absorbing glasses. Erbium is applied as a neutron absorber in the nuclear technology.
Moreover, it is used for the manufacture of all-ceramic products in the dental sector.