With its silver color, Tungsten is the metal with the highest melting point. In the past, it was known as Wolfram, and the origin of symbol W comes from that. Compared to diamond, it is more resistant to fracturing and much harder than steel. This is one of the reasons why this metal has found such a broad application in industry and for many commercial purposes. Its atomic number is 74, and the melting point is 6192°F. When tungsten is mixed with other metal, we get alloys, which are very popular in the last several decades.
Production of tungsten
Initially, tungsten is extracted from two minerals, wolframite, and scheelite. China is the biggest producer of this metal, supplying the world with 80% and 30% of tungsten produced from recycling. Once this metal is being processed and separate, an ammonium paratungstate is produced. The compound can be heated with hydrogen in order to form tungsten oxide, or it can react with carbon at the temperatures above 1925F so that tungsten metal can be produced. The procedure can be complicated, but the final result will create the strongest and most resistant metal on Earth.
Application of tungsten
In the last 100 years, tungsten has been used in a production of light bulbs. Because of its ability to resist high temperatures, many companies used this metal to make wire filaments, which is placed in the center of the light bulb. Considering this metal has the highest melting point and behave well, without losing the form, at high temperatures, it is used in many household applications, such as lamps, heating elements, microwave owns, x – ray tubes and in television sets.
Tungsten can tolerate the tremendous heat, which makes it perfect for thermocouples and electrical contacts and welding equipment. In the car industry, this metal is highly appreciated, many companies use it to make chassis because tungsten is very resistant. Tungsten bar is also a very good material for crafting.
Tungsten can be combined with other metals in order to increase its density and strength, in this way it becomes resistant to corrosion. Tungsten is often coupled with a steel and used for making saw blades; this mixture contains around 18% of tungsten. Tungsten steel alloys are also used in a production of rocket engine nozzles because of its heat resistant properties. Other alloys have Stellite, a mixture of cobalt, chromium, and tungsten, which is used in weapon industry because of its durability. On the other hand, superalloys are made of cobalt, iron or nickel, combined with tungsten; they can use utilized in a production of turbine blades for aircraft.
A lot of work and complicated procedures are involved in a manufacture of tungsten alloys, this one of the reasons why they are so highly requested. Alloys had found broad application in industry, medicine and aircraft industry. Considering that tungsten is the hardest pure metal and it has excellent temperature strength characteristics when is combined with other metals, alloys have incredible power to uphold any pressure. And appliances that are made of alloys will last for decades.