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.