DEFINITION OF THE ELEMENT:
A hard, brittle, corrosion-resistant, gray to white metallic element extracted from wolframite, scheelite, and other minerals, having the highest melting point and lowest vapor pressure of any metal. Tungsten and its alloys are used in high-temperature structural materials; in electrical elements, notably lamp filaments; and in instruments requiring thermally compatible glass-to-metal seals.
ORIGIN OF THE NAME:
Tungsten originates from the Swedish words 'tung sten' meaning heavy stone. It was formerly called Wolfram hence the symbol of the element - W.
CLASSIFICATION OF THE ELEMENT:
Tungsten is classified as a "Transition Metal" which are located in Groups 3 - 12 of the Periodic Table. An Element classified as a Transition Metals is ductile, malleable, and able to conduct electricity and heat.
USES OF TUNGSTEN:
* Based on its extreme hardness, tungsten carbide (W2C, WC) (classified as a "cemented carbide") is the most common material to make milling and turning tools. It is used in the metalworking, mining, petroleum, and construction industries.
* Tungsten carbide is also used in fashioning jewelry, as it is hypoallergenic and not apt to lose its luster like other polished metals.
* Oxides of tungsten are used in ceramic glazes.
* Tungsten 'bronzes' (so-called due to the color of tungsten oxides) and other compounds are used in paints.
* Calcium/magnesium tungstates are widely used in fluorescent lighting.
* Crystalline tungstates are used as scintillation detectors in nuclear physics and nuclear medicine.
* Salts that contain tungsten are used in the chemical and tanning industries.
* Tungsten disulfide is useful in high-temperature lubricants, as it is stable to 500° C (930° F).
* Some tungsten compounds are used as catalysts.
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