Tungsten is one of the unsung heroes of industrialization. We don’t hear a lot about tungsten, but it’s a material that serves very important purposes in a lot of the products we use every day.
More specifically, tungsten is used in the pieces that make up the things we use every day. We’re going to talk about tungsten today, exploring its uses and applications.
We’ll also take a look at tungsten powder examining how the powder is used differently than the solid. Let’s get started.
What Is Tungsten?
Tungsten is a kind of metal. It’s unique in the fact that it is extremely difficult to melt. In fact, tungsten has the highest melting point of any metal, making it very useful in machine parts.
Further, tungsten hardly ever fractures. We’re told that steel is the hardest metal to crack, although tungsten has a higher tolerance to pressure and punctures than steel.
It’s more resistant than almost any other metal, and it doesn’t melt. It’s difficult to find, though, as it isn’t a material that occurs naturally in massive deposits. Instead, people have to extract tungsten from wolframite and scheelite.
It’s a material that depends on recycling for supply. More than half of the production of tungsten comes from recycling, and China happens to be the country that recycles and produces the most tungsten.
Once tungsten is harvested or extracted from the metals that contain it, it needs to go through a chemical process. It’s separated into a chemical form called ammonium paratungstate. This is also called APT.
Then it needs to be heated to scorching temperatures. The material starts to react at nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The most common use of tungsten is as a filament in light bulbs. The filaments used are a composite of a few different materials that make up the wires which power light bulbs.
These wires can get very hot, so it’s important that the materials in them don’t melt or react to intense heat.
What About Tungsten Powder?
Tungsten carbide powder is used for a number of complex operations.
Tungsten powder uses include electrical contacts, airbags, wires, and even particle guns. Interestingly, tungsten powder applications in particle guns help with genetic modification.
That said, the most common use of the powder is the creation of weight fillers. These are pieces used in processes that involve radiation, and tungsten is a great material to use in order to avoid any complications from radiation.
It’s a great filler material for the production of heavy metal injection molds as well, as the particle size is large and allows materials to hold extremely well.
Want to Learn More About Tungsten?
There’s a lot to learn about tungsten powder and the value that it brings to the production of many things. Understanding the components of the things we use every day can help us to better use and appreciate them.
If you’re on the production side of things, though, understanding tungsten powder uses may be very useful. Explore our site for more insight into tungsten and similar products.