Since the day it was first discovered, tungsten metal was named the metal of future. It can be used as a pure metal or in combination with other elements in order to produce a Tungsten Alloy. It has unbelievable properties and that made it suitable for almost every industry in the world. The name derived from the Swedish words tung sten which basically means heavy stone. Its color is a unique mix of gray and silver and it is highly resistant to corrosion, acid, heat and bases.
It is compared to diamond because it is extremely hard and durable, more durable than any other known element we know today in the periodic system. This durability indicates that tungsten can uphold an immense amount of pressure.
This wonderous element found numerous uses in the industries of today. That is why it is present the most in heavy industry. Among all other metals, tungsten has the highest melting point which makes it number one on the list of high demands. One of the greatest properties this metal has is the ability to bond with other elements and pass its own benefits to those elements making them better and stronger and more resilient.
If it is mixed with chromium and cobalt, you get the highest quality compound named stellites, an extremely durable and highly resistant material. There is simply so much to do when it comes to the hardest metal on earth. It is perfect for mixing with steel to get extraordinary performances. It is also perfect for various innovations and new discoveries. On top of all this, tungsten is also completely non toxic and it could be playing an important role in the following years and the fight against global warming. It is sure that it’s on demand.
Not many elements in the periodic table can compare with tungsten in regards to their industrial characteristics, and that is why this metal is a highly sought out commodity in the modern world. Element number 74, also know as wolfram, is a metal which has a broad range of purposes, and due to its features – tungsten still fascinates scientists from all across the globe.
– What Exactly Is Tungsten?
Tungsten is one of the toughest substances on the face of the Earth, and the actual word tungsten comes from the Swedish “tung sten”, which literally translates to “heavy stone”. Germanic and Slavic nations call it Wolfram, but the material stays the same, no matter how you call it.
China supplies almost 80% of the global production of tungsten, with Russia and Canada taking the second and third spot, but with significantly lower quantities on an annual basis. Because of its characteristics, tungsten can be cut only with diamonds, and state-of-the-art machines are the only ones which can complete this task in a satisfying manner.
– The Most Prominent Features Of Tungsten
When it comes to the essential traits of this material, it is easy to see that tungsten is extremely strong and durable metal. As a matter of fact, it has twice the density of steel, and it is twice as heavier than lead.
Furthermore, tungsten has the highest melting point of all metals, which stands at 3.422 degrees Celsius. Also, this material has terrific hardness, which ranges from 24 to 36 HRC.
In addition to all that, tungsten has excellent wearing resistance, great tensile strength, and it can be easily machined. In the end, it also important to note that Element 74 is non-toxic, i.e. it provides Eco-friendly benefits, which is of great importance in today’s industrial processes.
– The Usage Of Tungsten Alloys
Tungsten Alloy is designed to produce high-speed steels and super alloys, and it is placed in the group of refractory metals. These two-phase composites can contain up to 90-97% of tungsten, but the ratio can depend on the purpose of the alloy. When it comes to the actual uses of the material, tungsten alloys have a broad range of purposes.
For instance, this metal is used in the military for the production of projectiles and other equipment. Medical diagnostic equipment, such as x-ray or radiation shields are also made out of tungsten alloys, and the same can be said about tools for drilling oil and natural gas wells. Aerospace industry also relies significantly on tungsten, and rotor blades for jet engines are manufactured from this material. Similarly, the chassis of cars in the automotive industry or various elements for sports and leisure, such as darts, golf clubs, etc., are made out of tungsten alloys. Incandescent bulbs are perhaps the most prominent area where tungsten has been used for years, but this sector seems to be upgrading to different methods and techniques. However, machining and TIG welding will rely on tungsten alloys for years to come.
Calling this metal precious isn’t as strange as some people might think. Those that have a grasp of metal alloys and the elements that make them understand the praise we are giving to this rare metal. All of its properties make it a crucial part of various alloys that can be found all around us.
Unique nature of the Wolfram (tungsten)
Tungsten aka Wolfram isn’t known as a metal that can provide benefits in its pure form. This element doesn’t appear in nature in its pure form. It’s produced from ores, and the result is a strong but brittle material. It isn’t suitable for work as it tends to break down and it can also be cut with a standard saw.
This is why people tend to use Wolfram as a supporting element in an alloy. This allows people to combine other elements with tungsten and draw out its advantages that will complement the final product. This is how we get to see products whose durability and other aspects tend to be higher than its previous versions.
Tungsten also plays a significant role in the economy of a country as it is a valuable resource that can bring in a lot of money through export. Another aspect of a monetary benefit through the usage of Wolfram is the reduced costs of some more expensive materials which tungsten alloys can replace.
An excellent example of the Tungsten Alloy usage (for the previous paragraph) is the high-speed steel alloy. The price of high-speed saws is high, and it’s mainly due to the usage of diamond and other similarly expensive elements. Tungsten is perfect because it has high resistance to wear as well as heat which makes it an excellent material for saws and other tools that tend to wear off over time. It can’t stop the wear, but it saves a lot of money during the manufacturing period as well as during maintenance.
The applicability of the Wolfram
Tungsten, as we already mentioned, is a sought-out material that is desired by numerous parties that want to use its alloys to improve their line of work. The advantage of this material is that it can be used in various industries due to the sheer number of its benefits. Heavy-duty companies use steel alloys that contain tungsten to increase the durability and corrosion resistance, while light bulb manufacturers use it for its heat resistance (many other industries profit from this feature as well).
The amount of tungsten that reaches the market is always far below the demand that is put on the market and that is something that remains from year to year. The production of the said metal is on a steady increase, but it’s still far away from demand figures. This is the main reason that tungsten isn’t as widely known as it should be.
Smaller countries are entering the market as suppliers, and that means that more and more of this metal will reach markets in the future. This is a good step forward when compared with the previous decade.
Tungsten as a metal is the best at being a supporting element in an alloy as it can pass down its benefits to them. That makes this element quite popular in many industries. It provides many advantages, and the majority of them are useful in the creation of alloys that can perform better than other compounds.
Different alloys are used in various industries, and not all of them require all of the advantages that tungsten has. This is why there are dozens of alloys that contain tungsten in a desired quantity and form.
Advantages of tungsten alloys
The mainstream usage Tungsten Alloy is found in alloys that are used in the manufacturing of heavy-duty machinery as well as tools that suffer a lot of wear. Tungsten is a metal that is almost useless on its own when it comes to this kind of usage, but alloys that it strengthens are more than enough for the production of tools and machinery. That is possible due to benefits that this precious metal provides over other elements.
The first characteristic of the tungsten is its resistance to wear. This property of the tungsten is highly useful, and thus it is used in alloys that can withstand high-speed oscillations and still suffer little to no wear. Machines that utilize pistons also benefit from this characteristic.
Tungsten is also an element that shows superior resistance to heat. This element has the highest melting point out of all other parts, and thus it’s possible to transfer the heat resistance found in the tungsten to its alloys. The usage of such alloys can be seen in the manufacturing of nozzles that fuel spacecraft.
The high density of the tungsten makes it a preferred material for ammunition as it’s denser than the lead. The density makes it possible to increase the armor penetration of smaller shells which means that low-caliber weaponry has a higher chance of penetrating thick armor.
Resistance to corrosion is another characteristic of this metal, and construction companies seek it due to that. Quite a large number of steel alloys contain tungsten because it makes them resistant to rust and thus increases the durability of the product.
Electronic industry is also competing for limited supplies of the tungsten as it is used in the production of many electric utilities. Its high melting point makes it perfect for the manufacture of light bulbs, heating elements, and cathode ray tubes.
Tungsten – High adaptable element that is found everywhere
This metal doesn’t occur naturally in its pure form, but it can be found everywhere due to a wide variety of products in which it can be found. It is still a somewhat rare material, but it has been getting more attention in last few years. The primary reason for this is the increased production of the said element as well as the export of its largest manufacturer (China). This is a metal that is opening doors that lead to new possibilities, and it will continue to do so.
This is a metal that is also known as wolfram which has atomic number 74 on period table of elements. The name is derived from an old Swedish word that means “heavy stone.” It doesn’t occur in nature as stand-alone metal but as an element in various compounds (wolframite and scheelite).
Tungsten as an independent metal
It’s quite a rare metal, and thus it wasn’t considered as useful until the middle of the 19th century. The idea to use this element in the creation of new alloys came due to the discovery that it can withstand extreme temperatures. Its melting point is the highest out of all other parts, and its robustness is also something that makes it so valuable in the construction and other industries.
Tungsten has its alloys, and they are widely used but not in construction and other heavy industries. The pure tungsten is a hard and brittle material, and it’s tough to work with it. It can be cut with a normal saw, and thus it doesn’t have any uses in heavy industries. Its alloys, on the other hand, are used in making light bulb cores due to its heat resistance. It’s also used in making projectiles because it has high density.
Tungsten real value comes in it being just one part of a larger alloy. Its ability to bring in benefits into alloys makes it a correct choice when it comes to the creation of new alloys. Its resistances against wear, heat, and corrosion are things that every new metal has, and thus this metal is all around us as a part of steel and other alloys.
Tungsten as a part of an alloy
Tungsten comes to shine when it becomes a part of some bigger alloy. This is why it’s used in a wide variety of industries. Its production has been on a steady increase in the last century as new technologies find numerous uses for tungsten and alloys that contain it.
The production of this metal is limited, and China is a leading manufacturer, and it produces more than 85 percent of tungsten. Tungsten Alloy has a big role in making electric circuits and complex electric systems which is a well developed business in China so it is not strange that China has the biggest percentage of tungsten production.
The limits that tungsten has
The supply of this metal is limited, and thus countries around the world seek new sources on a constant basis. A small amount of total tungsten is manufactured through recycling, but the amount in question is small. China is also keeping a significant portion of the tungsten from the rest of the world.
The amount of available tungsten and the demand for the same metal are not proportional. The demand is high, and the metal is scarce. This is why the price is extremely high. This disparity allows small countries that can produce a bit of tungsten to cash in on it. Countries like Rwanda rely on their ability to produce and sell this precious metal as it brings a lot of money to their government.
Tungsten is a material that is slowly changing the world. As its quantity increases so will the world move forward as more and more industries will be able to experience benefits that this metal brings.
If there is a need to describe this alloy in as few words as possible, then it would be that it’s durable, sturdy and it doesn’t deteriorate. This short explanation is of course, not enough to convey all of the aspects of the tungsten. This metal is more than just another alloy that brings small benefits to the industry. On the contrary, Tungsten is a metal that is used in many alloys due to its potent properties.
What tungsten brings to alloys?
Tungsten is highly resistant to corrosion and to wear, and it contains elements that make composites stronger. These are the elements that are desired in various alloys, including steel which is used in the construction business. Indeed, modern steel alloys contain a fair amount of tungsten because it makes steel more resilient against wear and corrosion. This means that the tungsten is all around us even though its properties make it as valuable as the most expensive metals. Tungsten Alloy, for example, is frequently used for making electrodes and electric contacts.
To top this off, it is important to note that tungsten is used in other alloys that are made for different work as well. A good example of this is the high-speed steels that are used for making saw blades as well as other tools for high-speed cutting. Tungsten makes around 18% of those metals due to its resistance to wear. The same application is also present in machinery used for bearing as well as pistons as they require materials that aren’t susceptible to wear.
Another feature of tungsten is its resistance to the heat. This is why it is used in metals that make rocket engine nozzles. This metal is also used in other alloys that are used for making machinery that has to withstand high heat.
How tungsten makes alloys better?
This metal is used in a lot of alloys because it can cover for downsides of other metals. The materials utilized in the industry have to be perfect and without any disadvantages. Tungsten is an excellent choice because it has advantages that many others lack.
This is partially due to its high-density and ability to replace some toxic elements in metal compounds. It is used instead of uranium and lead, both of which cause harm to people. It’s a perfect metal that increases the performance and reduces the risk of the alloys in which it is used. It replaces uranium because the metal in question is unstable and it’s hard to work with such radioactive element. Lead has a lower density than the tungsten, and it may cause health issues that come from lead exposure. Tungsten is better than the lead in all aspects, and thus it wasn’t hard to choose it over other compounds.
Tungsten – Metal of the future
Many people consider tungsten to be a metal of the future and they aren’t wrong. Its benefits over other metals make it a viable choice when it comes to the creation of better, stronger and more durable alloys that can support bigger buildings. This metal is a material that is and will push the boundaries of the industry into the future.