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.