Tungsten is alloyed with steel to form tough metals that retain stability at extremely high temperatures. The name “tungsten” is Swedish for “heavy stone.” Its chemical symbol, “W” stems from the name’s Germanic roots. Tungsten is also known as wolfram, which is a product of wolframite.
Considered one of the strongest elements in existence, tungsten’s strength and durability make it a unique metal. Tungsten is so dense that it resists melting, even under extremely high heat. Interestingly, pure tungsten (which is silvery white in color) is highly combustible when it is in fine powder form.
Since tungsten is so durable and strong, it can be used in several different ways. Tungsten has the highest tensile strength and melting point of the elements. It’s also corrosion resistant. Pure tungsten is soft, but when blended into compounds, the metal becomes extremely robust.
Tungsten is available globally. Reserves can be located in the United States in California and Colorado. Abroad, countries like Bolivia, Russia, Portugal, South Korea, and Great Britain also supply tungsten. Most of the tungsten used today comes from China, which holds 80 percent the whole world’s supply.
Tungsten is withdrawn from the minerals scheelite, wolframite, huebnertie, and ferberite. The tungsten oxide in these minerals is eliminated by reduction via hydrogen or carbon.
Tungsten carbide is one of the hardest and most common tungsten compounds. The metal has primarily been used as the filament in incandescent light bulbs for the past 100 years. The strength of tungsten compounds makes them ideal for use in creating drill bits or for sharpening saws. Tungsten compounds are also used by the military for bullets and missiles, as the density of tungsten gives it the ability to penetrate through armor.
Tungsten is the heaviest element found to be essential to living organisms. Tungsten can disrupt the metabolism of copper or molybdenum and therefore is rather toxic to living creatures.
Tough, durable, and melt-resistant, tungsten is quite a compound! At Avion Alloys, we service customers around the world looking for top-quality metals. You can trust our tungsten sheets and plates to complete the job in which they will be used. We are a global tungsten distributor you can trust to provide a wide range of materials. Call our customer service team TOLL FREE at (866) 610-1660 or contact us online for a free quote on tungsten.