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Tungsten Uses


Tungsten is a metal with a wide range of uses, the largest of which is as tungsten carbide (W2C, WC) in cemented carbides. Cemented carbides (also called hardmetals) are wear-resistant materials used by the metalworking, mining, petroleum and construction industries. Tungsten is widely used in light bulb and vacuum tube filaments, as well as electrodes, because it can be drawn into very thin wire with a high melting point. Other uses as following:

Its high melting point makes tungsten suitable for aerospace and high temperature uses which include electrical, heating, and welding applications, notably in the GTAW process (also called TIG welding). Hardness and density properties make this metal ideal for making heavy metal alloys that are used in armament, heat sinks, and high density applications, such as weights, counterweights, ballast keels for yachts and tail ballast for commercial aircraft.

The high density makes it an ideal ingredient for darts, normally 80% and sometimes up to 97%. This allows darts containing tungsten to have a smaller diameter than those of other metals at the same weight, permitting tighter groupings.

High speed steel contains tungsten and some tungsten steels contain as much as 18% tungsten.

Super alloys containing tungsten are used in turbine blades and wear resistant parts and coatings. Examples are Hastelloy and Stellite.

Tungsten powder is used as a filler material in thermoplastic composites which are used as a nontoxic substitute for lead, in bullets, shot, and radiation shields.

Tungsten chemical compounds are used in catalysts, inorganic pigments, and tungsten disulfide high-temperature lubricants which are stable to 500 °C (930 °F).

Since this element's thermal expansion is similar to borosilicate glass, it is used for making glass-to-metal seals. It is used in kinetic energy penetrators, usually alloyed with nickel and iron or cobalt, to form heavy alloys, used as an alternative to depleted uranium.

Tungsten is used as an interconnect material in integrated circuits. Contact holes are etched in silicon dioxide dielectric material, filled with tungsten and polished to form connections to transistors. Typical contact holes can be as small as 65 nm.

Tungsten carbide is one of the hardest carbides and is used in machine tools such as make milling and turning tools, and used together with cobalt and carbon is often the best choice for such applications.

Used extensively for shielding in the radiopharmaceutical industry. It is often employed when transporting individual FDG doses (called 'pigs') - the high energy of fluorine-18 makes lead much less effective.

Tungsten is used in the emitters of focused ion beam and electron microscopes.

Tungsten is also beginning to be used in jewelry. Its hardness makes it ideal for rings that will never scratch, are hypoallergenic and will not need polishing. This property is especially useful in designs with a brushed finish.

Also can be used in fishing lures like the Mormyshka.



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