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Uses of Tungsten

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Last updated date: 16th Jul 2024
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Introduction

The chemical element tungsten, commonly known as wolfram, is a Group 6 hard metal of extraordinary strength used in lamp filaments and steel to provide hardness and strength. The heaviest metal with a recognised biological function is tungsten. Few microorganisms use tungsten for the conversion of carboxylic acids to aldehydes.


At room temperature, tungsten is a solid, glossy metal that is greyish-white. Of all the metals, tungsten has the greatest melting point and the lowest vapour pressure. It has remarkable resistance to corrosion, and most mineral acids only partially degrade it. Chemical processes are used to separate tungsten from rock.


Tungsten in the Lightning Bulb


Tungsten in the Lightning Bulb


Uses of Tungsten

Here’s the tungsten uses list:

  • Everyday uses of tungsten deal with the production of special alloys, filament wire for lighting, mobile phone handsets, drilling and cutting machinery, electrical appliances, chemical applications, and many other products that use tungsten as an ingredient.

  • Most tungsten is used to create hard metals or cemented carbon steels.

  • The substance, which has a hardness close to the diamond, is most frequently utilised in its most common form, tungsten carbide. It has twice the hardness of any steel grade and is denser than steel and titanium. It also has extreme wear resistance.

A Tungsten Jewellery


A Tungsten Jewellery


Tungsten Uses in Industry

  • Jewellery:  Tungsten carbide is utilised to create accessories, particularly rings, that are even relatively hard than metallic tungsten and maintain their gloss and shine for an extended period.

  • Alloys: Tungsten is mixed with other elements to improve its properties because of its exceptional hardness and effective heat resistance. The production of tungsten steel uses the majority of the metal that is produced.

  • Automotives: In the automotive industries, tungsten alloys are utilised for making rocket engine nozzles, turbine blades, etc. It is used to create alloys like high-speed steel.

  • Arc-Welding: Tungsten is used in arc welding with other conductive metals like copper, silver, and others. This is because of its high heat resistance capacity. Combining conductive metals produces the necessary conductivity, and tungsten gives the welding rod strength to withstand high temperatures.


Why is Tungsten Used for the Filament of Electric Lamps

  • To create the filaments for lamp bulbs, tungsten metal is chosen because it can withstand high temperatures, has a high melting point, and has high electrical resistivity.

  • Due to pure tungsten's high resistance and melting point, electric energy is converted into heat and light energy.


Why is Tungsten Used in x-ray Tubes?

  • Consequently, transmission X-ray tubes based on carbon molecules have attracted much interest. The target substance employed in the majority of these tubes is tungsten.

  • Tungsten is the target material in X-ray tubes due to its qualities, including its high atomic number and melting temperature.

  • The use of tungsten for this purpose illustrates the immense value concealed in the uncommon and the little elements. As metals become more approachable, there will undoubtedly be more examples of this kind.


Conclusion

Tungsten is the main alloying element in the steel used for tools and construction. Tungsten alloys are also utilised in various high-temperature applications, such as spacecraft, electrical circuits, welding, and computer chips. Due to its high melting point, tungsten is the ideal type for the target on x-ray tubes for general radiation. Compared to target materials with lower atomic numbers, tungsten's high atomic number enables the production of light waves more effectively.

FAQs on Uses of Tungsten

1. What advantages does tungsten have?

Oxygen, acids, and alkalis cannot damage the metal in its bulk. Electric connections, arc-welding electrodes, and filaments in incandescent light bulbs all employ tungsten. Tungsten adds a significant amount of strength to alloys like steel.

2. Where can you most often find tungsten?

China is the world's largest tungsten producer, accounting for about two-thirds of global deposits and producing over 80% of the metal's total mining output in 2016. Most of the remaining are produced by Bolivia, Vietnam, Russia, Canada, and Canada. There is no such thing as free tungsten.

3. Is the metal tungsten rare?

Despite being present in many nations, tungsten is a rare metal. Due to its wide range of uses, it is essential. Few materials can replace it because it has the second-highest melting point and the second-hardest substance (diamonds rank first in both categories).