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The Importance Of Tungsten In Today’s Industry

Tungsten is one of the most important materials in the modern metal industry, but many other industrial sectors are directly connected with the use of Element 74. In other words, tungsten alloys have taken over the world, and they are nowadays immensely important elements in the overall system of our global industry. Learning a thing or two about this metal will, therefore, offer you a chance to get acquainted with this highly valuable commodity, and that is why you should stick with this in-depth guide. In some upcoming articles, we will thoroughly discuss Tungsten Heavy Alloy since many people have interest in various tungsten uses.

General Overview

As we already mentioned, tungsten stands at the position number 74 in the periodic table, and many people refer to this element as Wolfram. However, these two names mean the same thing, i.e. they relate to a highly durable metal which provides interesting and unique characteristics and features. The actual term tungsten originates from the Swedish words “tung sten” which translate to “heavy stone”, and this convenient use of words perfectly illustrates the nature of the material in question. As a matter of fact, it is a widely accepted fact that tungsten is one of the toughest substances on the face of the Earth, and only diamonds can cut through sheets of tungsten, but only with the use of highly sophisticated methods and techniques.

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The Characteristics Of Tungsten Alloys

Element 74 is also the metal which has the highest melting point of all other metals which we know off, and it starts to melt only at temperatures higher than 3.422 degrees Celsius. The extremely high melting point is a valuable asset which allows tungsten to find its purpose in many branches of industrial production. However, this is not nearly the only characteristic of this metal that attracts attention, and high density and excellent hardness are also among intriguing and interesting features. Tungsten is two times heavier than lead, and with its high density, it is possible to create items of small volume but of incredible weight out of this material.

Tungsten is frequently used in a form of alloy, and depending on the actual amount of the metal – these alloys can serve different functions in the modern industrial process. Alloys can have amazing tensile strength, they can be easy to machine, and they can provide excellent wearing resistance. Furthermore, they can be resistant to corrosion as well, and on top of all that – tungsten alloys which are used in the modern-day industry are Eco-friendly and non-toxic.

How We Use Tungsten Alloys Today

Since tungsten alloys can offer so many positive characteristics, it is perfectly natural that humans are looking for ways to exploit all those benefits. For instance, we nowadays use tungsten alloys to create bullets and other projectiles in the military. On the other hand, tungsten can also serve as a protective element in shields which are used around x-ray machines. Aerospace and automotive industries are also relying on tungsten alloys, just the same as sports and leisure sectors often use tungsten to create various types of equipment, such as golf clubs, darts, and so on.

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The many uses of Tungsten

In the past, people have always aimed to use precious metals to produce stronger and better materials. One of the rare materials named Tungsten is particularly used in many industries for its highly valued properties. The reason why Tungsten is so valued is that it possesses a high resistance to heat, corrosion and it’s extremely durable under duress.

Tungsten-alloysThe metal, also known as wolfram, has the density of 19.35 g/cm³, with its melting point is 3410.0 ℃ or 3683.15 K, 6170.0 °F, and boiling point is at 5660.0 ℃ or 5933.15 K, 10220.0 °F. For these reasons, this rare metal has found its way into many appliances and industries as the main component or an alloy to various products. Tungsten Heavy Alloy is an excellent choice for vibration damping, centrifugal compensations, making inertia sensors etc.

– Alloys

Even though Tungsten can’t be found in its pure form in nature. A lot of times it is used as a pure metal, but only after extraction, or it can be combined with many other metals to form alloys. Since Tungsten alloys are strong, resistant to corrosion and wear, are flexible and transfer electricity when needed.  For example, tungsten-steel combination alloys are the materials that are used in the production of rocket engines. Its high heat resistant property makes it one of the best materials to use it in such products. There are also super-alloys that contain Tungsten.

They are used in the production of turbines, coatings and many different products that need to be wear-resistant. The best quality darts use Tungsten and nickel alloys.

– Electrical & Electronics industries

The single biggest use of Tungsten today is in the production of the common light bulbs. Its high melting point combined with low vapor pressure make it perfect for the light bulb filament. Tungsten is also used as filaments  in cathode tubes and vacuum tubes.

Since Tungsten also has amazing conductive properties, it’s also used in electrodes, for example in an electron microscope. Tungsten’s high tolerance for heat also makes it a perfect metal or alloy in electronic appliances. A good example is an integrated circuit and for X-ray machines.

– Other applications

Besides the applications of the Tungsten metal that are mentioned before, tungsten has even more. Tungsten’s thermal expanding capabilities are similar to borosilicate glass and for that reason, it can be shapedinto making glass-metal seals. Tungsten can also see a high use in the modern design of jewelry. It can substitute platinum and gold due to its similar metal density as gold.

Additionally, in the near future, we could see Tungsten in energy saving technology as its oxide has two special properties (polycondensation and intercalation).

All in all, Tungsten is one of the best rare metals to use to make reliable products that will have a longer lifespan and will be stronger if imbued with Tungsten. The metal will continue to impress and find new uses in future technology because it is very hard to ignore the fact that the metal alone provides the highest resistance to heat when it comes to metals.

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The Properties, Applications, and Alloys of Tungsten

Since ancient times, people have been mining the earth for precious metals, with the desire to use them to create the best version of tools and weapons that they could. During one such mining expeditions, a rare metal called Tungsten was mined. Tungsten, also known as Wolfram is a silver-gray-white metal that is one of the metals which is highly resistant to heat. Tungsten is also a lot more resistant to fractures than any diamond is and is twice, if not more, harder than your regular steel.

As such, Tungsten has found its use in lots of industries as the main component or an alloy. Its ability to resist high temperatures, acids, and its durability have made this metal a highly desirable addition in almost any industry in our modern times.

– Specifications

Tungsten is a very durable metal with its Moh’s Hardness at 7.5, it’s density coming off at 19.24g/cm3, its Melting Point being 6192°F or 3422°C and Boiling Point at 10031°F or 5555°C, Tungsten is one of the most used metals when it comes to protection from heat and radiation.

Additionally, what should be noted is that Tungsten is rarely found as a lone metal, it’s mainly extracted from Scheelite and wolframite, but tungsten can also be recycled which amounts to about 30 % of the total global Tungsten supply. The lead producer in Tungsten is China which produces and exports about 80 % of the total world Tungsten supply.

– Applications:

Like we mentioned before, people have been mining to find metals that will help them upgrade their existing tools and weapons. Tungsten has found its primary use in one of the tools that were used by everyone on the planet. Namely as a filament  in the light bulb industry.

Tungsten-metalWith Tungsten’s strong durability and high resistance to heat, Tungsten has been used as a wire filament that is placed in the middle of light bulbs that power billions of homes all around the planet. The aptitude to keep its shape at extremely high temperatures has helped Tungsten filaments cement their role as the main light bulb component.  For example, Tungsten Heavy Alloy is the no.1 material for anti-radiation shieldings.

Tungsten filaments are also used in many other household applications, such as: heating elements, microwave ovens, cathode tubes in computers, tv, electrical furnaces, many wall wires etc.

The metal can also be present in furnaces, construction tools and welding equipment. Its density also helps the metal to be used in fishing sinkers, darts, counterweights, and similar products.

Alloys of Tungsten

If you want to increase the corrosion resistance, heat resistance and water resistance of any metal, than Tungsten is the metal you want to combine it with. Many tools that are used for precise cutting have Tungsten.  If combining Tungsten with steel you get an alloy that is perfect in the production of nozzles for a rocket engine, since any alloy with Tungsten is going to have high heat resistance. Other alloys of Tungsten are Stelite (a combination between tungsten, chromium and cobalt), which is used when making pistons and bearing due to its strong durability and extremely high resistance to wear and water resistance.

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Tungsten Alloys and the industries that use them

Tungsten is a metal that is not found in its pure form in nature. Usually, the metal is bonded to another metal deep inside the earth. Once taken out Tungsten must be extracted and purified so it will become the rare metal that is present is so many industries today. The metal has amazing properties which is one of the reasons the metal is so highly sought out for.

One of these properties is its high resistance to heat and corrosion, and the other is the durability of said metal and the great combining ability with other metals to make alloys and super alloys. Some of these alloys are made by mixing Tungsten with nickel and copper or nickel and iron, or just steel. As such tungsten has been a metal that has found use in almost all the industries we know today.

Some of them are:

– The aerospace industry

Since Tungsten is a high-density material it is highly sought out for in the aerospace industry. With a tungsten alloy,it’s possible to reduce the physical size of the component while still offering the durability and resistance of the component, and sometimes even a higher resistance than if the component was made from other metals.

Some of the aerospace alloy applications include inertial systems, fluid control wires, rotor blades, propellers, metal bars, trim weights and of course the missiles that are imbued with tungsten in the military aerospace industry.

– Sports and leisure

Some of the less known uses of Tungsten can be seen in the sports and leisure industry. For example, the finest darts are made from tungsten alloys. Also, horseshoes and golf clubs take advantage of the sturdiness that comes from the tungsten alloy as it offers perfect weight and balance. In the hunting sports, firearms are also made and benefit greatly from counterbalances made from tungsten alloys.

– The medical industry

When it comes to protection from radiation, Tungsten Heavy Alloy is a highly respected substance. Usually, the metal will be seen as a shielding component to the x-ray and radiation therapy machines. Its high-density alloys are also present in medical isotope production, container production, and other radiation shielding applications.

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– The machining and tooling industry

Tungsten has even seen its use in the creation of working tools and machining appliances. The tungsten alloys make for stronger and sturdier tools of which some of them are: grinding quills, tool extensions, cutters and others. The benefits range from: high corrosion resistance, high breakage and chipping resistance, reduced vibration etc.

– The oil and natural gas industry

 Since tungsten has radiation shielding properties its alloys are highly sought out in the oil and natural gas industry as protective equipment and many other appliances.  The casings which are sent down the holes to locate the oil must be heavy enough to sink through the mud yet strong and able to withstand intense hydrostatic pressure.

As you can see Tungsten can be used in many appliances in several different industries. This rare metal won’t see itself replaced in anytime soon as its special properties will make it a highly sought out metal even in future industries and appliances.

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What Are the Uses of Tungsten?

Tungsten, as we all know, is a rare metal that derives its name from “Tung Sten” in Swedish, wich is roughly translated to “Heavy stone”. The natural color of Tungsten is grayish-white but it rarely is found as a lone element. The metal is pretty stable and is very durable when it comes to it being exposed to acids and other bases. The metal itself has one of the highest melting points of all metals on the periodic table. With this perk alone, Tungsten is one of the most valuable metals that can be processed by man. Its functionality can be present in many valuable applications that can include electrical uses, manufacturing uses, construction, chemical, and of course a protective use as it’s a metal that can protect from radiation. Tungsten Heavy Alloy is often used in XRay examinations where the protection from radiation is essential.

But, you are probably wondering where can you exactly use Tungsten in your daily life, or where is it actually present. Well, we will list some examples of where the rare metal Tungsten can be present in our daily lives, and some not so common as well.

– Filament for light bulbs

One of the most well-known uses for Tungsten is its presence in the standard light bulb that everyone uses in their home. So, it’s safe to say that the largest commercial use of Tungsten is in its application in the lamp industry. Since Tungsten is capable of withstanding incredible high temperatures and has virtually none vapor pressure, Tungsten is the perfect metal for a light bulb. Especially light baulbs which won’t be turned off for several hours where they will emit lots of heat and be subjected to incredible electric voltage. Tungsten can be seen in all kinds of filaments, of which some of them are: reflector lamps, projectors, domestic lamps, vehicle lights, street light lamps, camera lights and much more light bulb products.

– Alloys

AlloysTungsten has a particular quality when it comes to rare metals. Namely, Tungsten has the property of making other metals stronger when they are combined with it. When you mix Tungsten with other metals, an alloy is created with special properties, which can be used in a variety of applications in almost any industry known to man.

Tungsten can be mixed with several other metals to create a high water-resistant alloy, for instance, if you mix cobalt and chromium with tungsten you will get stelites, which is a metal that is highly water resistant. Stelites can be used to create pistons, valve seats, ship building materials, and similar products. When you mix Tungsten, irmolybdenum, rhenium, tantalum with iron or cobalt you get superalloys. Superalloys have special properties that can result in very high resistances when it comes to heat tolerance, corrosion resistance, and extreme durability. Superalloys such as these can be found in use with all kinds of marine vehicles, aircraft engines, turbine blades different power supplies and much more.

– Steel and TungstenSteel and Tungsten

When you add Tungsten to steel it will increase the strength of steel tenfold. To be specific, Tunsgen increases the cutting capacity and hardness of the steel. Basically, all the tools used in construction and similar industries are mad from steel and tungsten. On the plus side tungsten also makes most of those tools highly resistant to heat and acid.

– Tungsten in laboratory use

When it comes to laboratories Tungsten is also highly present in that field. For instance, a biochemical analysis Tungsten is a reagent in the form of Sodium Tungstate. As Sodium Metatungstate, it is used as a luquidseperation tool to seperate minerals on the basis of their density.

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Tungsten Alloys in Medical Applications

When we talk about tungsten, most of the people are not aware at what scale tungsten and its alloys can be used. Tungsten is one of the rare metals that has the highest point of melting, which is at 3,422 °C, 6,192 °F, and is usually found in the earth almost exclusively in chemical compounds. Tungsten is the heaviest element known to be essential to any living organism, but only in small quantities.

So, in short, tungsten can be found all over the world but where can it be used is the question. In short everywhere where its high melting point can be a benefit to the product, of which some of them can be found in the medical industry.  Tungsten can be used in a variety of applications, from multi-leaf collimators, oncology treatment instruments, containment crates, medical isotope production, transport, radiation shielding materials, syringe shields, lead shielding replacement parts.  Tungsten Heavy Alloy is also a well known component for creating shieldings which are used for X Ray scans since tungsten can withstand high temperature and keep environmental radiation exposure at almost zero.

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Now, as you can see, tungsten has lots of uses, so let’s explain which some of them are:

– Multileaf Collimators

Alloys of high density are used for multileaf collimators to make individual leaves. For that reason, they can move freely in and outside of the particle beam path. This device directs a focused beam for treatment with radiotherapy, delivering correct therapy doses to its patients. For this reason, multileaf collimators are used in radiology departments where they have become an important part of the process of radiotherapy.

– Radiation and Lead Shielding Materials

Since tungsten is a tough rare metal its perfect for shielding from radiation. Tungsten has seen many uses in both medical, military and household appliances when it comes to protecting from various radiation waves. With its unsurpassed strength, Tungsten is widely used in the medical industry as a protective material for both the delicate instruments and humans. Tungsten can be used in gamma radiography, radioactive source containers, syringe shields, oncology systems and oncology instruments.

Final words about Tungsten

tungsten-medicine1When it comes to precision, toughness, and durability, Tungsten is one of the natural materials that you want to have on your side. Human health is a fragile ecosystem that needs to be nurtured and protected at all times, and since people do a poor job with that as it is, we have to rely on products that can make the threat to our health lower while we are still performing health detrimental tasks.

Rest assured, when you see an item made from Tungsten, or an item that contains a lot of Tungsten in their metal base, that that item is not only going to outlast most items in the same category that are made from other metals, but that that item will be safer for use and will usually provide more benefits compared to its competition. However, Tungsten is a metal that interferes with molybdenum and copper metabolism and is, therefore, a toxic element to animal life. So try and keep your Tungsten products away from animals just to be perfectly safe.

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Tungsten Effects on Health and Environment

Over the years there was a lot of research conducted both on the national and international level on the matter of tungsten and how does it affect our health and the environment. We all know from experience and from history that all chemicals and metals are able to have some kind of effect on the environment and health if the concertation of them is high enough. However, research has shown that tungsten has a very low possibility to cause harm to the environment and people that are in the direct contact with the metal.

Of course, some of the research is still in progress because this metal is very important for us humans in a lot of different areas. Just as any other metal or chemical this must be carefully researched to be declared as a non-harmful material. A research was released not long ago about some of the tungsten substances and it clearly shows which one is harmful and which is not. Usually, the ones that were listed as harmful were only applicable if the substance was swallowed. Since the products made out of the tungsten metal are very scratch resistant and hard, people can use them safely because there is almost no exposure to potential harm.

Recycling of Tungsten

Recycling-of-TungstenTungsten is a very important metal that cannot be found easily, so we must do everything in order to minimize the waste. There are factories that are specially working with recycling only tungsten scraps of metal. Because the high content, the scrap metal pieces are very valuable. Nowadays we are trying to recycle as much as the tungsten metal as we can, also the by-products that are generating when we are producing raw tungsten like ammonia is also recycled.

Environment-Friendly Use of Tungsten

Use-of-TungstenPeople use products made out of tungsten that have some benefits for the environment. For example, tungsten is used for the preparation of catalysts that are used in the petrochemical industry. Those catalysts are designed to improve some of the highly valuable components of the gasoline and also to reduce the harmful effects of those by-products found in the gasoline such as nitrogen compounds and sulfur. Furthermore, it was found out recently that some of the tungsten compounds used in catalysts are reducing the release of nitrogen oxide intro the air from the exhaust gasses.

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Create Various Tools(1)

All you Need to Know about Cemented Carbide (Tungsten)

First of, we cannot start talking about cemented carbide if you don’t even know what it is or what it is used for. So, let’s start by answering those simple but important questions first. The Cemented carbide is an extremally hard material that is used to create various cutting tools for big machines, also it has some other industrial use but it is mainly for cutting tools. As an aggregate, cemented carbides usually use tungsten carbide.

Why do People Use Carbide cutters?

Carbide-cuttersThe reason why people usually use a carbide cutter is because after cutting a material, it will leave a much smoother surface finish which will later on speed up the whole process. The tools that are made out of cemented (tungsten) carbide can withstand a lot higher temperatures than any other tool that is made out of different metal. That is because tungsten is the metal with the highest melting point and it can withstand very high temperatures. Due to this great durability, every process that is done with a carbide tool will be done much faster. There are not many materials that are better than cemented carbide for cutting hard materials like carbon or stainless steel. Not only you can cut such hard materials with cemented carbide but it will wear away much slower than any other.

Applications

Inserts for Metal Cutting. Carbide is more expensive than your usual tool materials in your workshop. Because it is not cheap, it is not worth making the whole tool out of it. Some metal cutting tools have replaceable tips that can be replaced if one broke off or you wear it out. You will never have to pay for the whole cutting piece again, you just need to buy those replaceable tips.

Inserts for Mining Tools. The tools that miners use in mines have to be very durable and strong in order to not break after 10 minutes of use. To have that kind of durable tools they have fitted their tools with cemented carbide tips that can withstand the mining.

Industrial applications. There are a lot of different applications for the cemented carbide that industrial companies use it for. They have created a lot of specially designed tools for themselves from this hard material. One interesting use that this metal has is in the bearings, more precise ball bearings. Those tiny balls are made out of this metal because they have to be extremally hard and not to lose their shape over time. if those balls were made out of some softer material they would have to be replaced very regularly because they would get flatted out.

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The Right Choice

Pros, Cons, Facts and Myths about Tungsten Carbide Jewelry

Pros

Tungsten-CarbideIf you are looking for a metal that is considered to be the most scratch resistant, then Tungsten Carbide is the right choice. Unlike other metals that jewelry is made out of Tungsten carbide is not expensive. Furthermore, even if you pick a smaller piece it will still have a nice weight to it because it has a great size to weight ratio. Some people say that rings that are made out of tungsten carbide are much easier to remove than gold from your fingers if you happen to have an emergency situation. This combination of materials is very durable it cannot bend out of shapes like gold and silver can because this metal is much harder, so you don’t need to worry about that the ring will deform if you put pressure on it.

The Tungsten carbide is hypoallergenic metal, which means that people that have allergic reactions to other metals like gold will not have any reactions. They can wear this jewelry without having to worry about the allergic reaction. Usually, you can find this metal in the gray color. However, you can ask to be plated into white, black or even gold.

Cons

As you know by now tungsten is a metal that is very resistant to scratches and it will not bend. However, it can break if you put a lot of pressure on it. That is happening due to the hardness of the metal. When you buy a tungsten ring, make sure it is the right size because it cannot be resized

Facts

The tungsten got its name from a Swedish term that when translated means heavy stone. The official chemical symbol for tungsten is W which is from its previous name wolfram. Tungsten is the metal with the highest melting point. On the Mohs scale, it is rated 9 for its hardness, only the diamond was rated 10 and diamonds are the hardest material known to people. Nowadays in America tungsten is the top selling material for wedding rings.

Myths

The-hardness-of-the-tungstenIt cannot be removed in a case of an emergency. We have mentioned this before in the pros, and if you have read that section you will know that this one is a myth because it is most likely the easiest ring for removal.

They are indestructible. This is a lie; a lot of people hear stories about how strong and hard this metal is and they think that it cannot be damaged or destroyed. However, the hardness of the material is actually what makes it so destroyable. If you put a huge amount of pressure on it, the ring will break for sure. That is because it cannot be bent so it must crack and break.

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