Tungsten products generally include everything from household items to aerospace technology. The metal is almost as dense as gold and has the highest melting point of any metal in purest form at 6,192°F (3,422°C). These properties popularize the use of tungsten in many applications. Tungsten has a wide range of industrial use when combined with other elements and industrial metals to make metal alloys or superalloys.
People use tungsten products daily without realizing it. Extreme heat resistance enables thin tungsten wire to be used as the filament in incandescent light bulbs, for example, and when combined with calcium and magnesium, it becomes fluorescent lighting. This quality also allows tungsten to be incorporated into the heating elements of heaters and furnaces. Artisans also might use tungsten oxide in ceramic and glassware glazes, producing a yellowish hue. Comparable to gold in hardness, the metal may substitute for gold or platinum in jewelry making, as tungsten is hypoallergenic and virtually scratch resistant.
Tungsten weights or powder might also be implemented to enhance the driving force in golf club heads. Tungsten combined with copper, iron or nickel may be used in making high-quality darts or for the strings of certain musical instruments. Commercial aircraft, race cars and yachts contain tungsten products, as the metal’s density provides counterweight, weight and stability.
Tungsten alloys are frequently incorporated into the turbines of aircraft engines as well. The metal is a constituent of various military items, as tungsten products are a part of the nozzles of projectile rockets and armor penetrating missiles. Cobalt, iron, nickel and tungsten also are the components used in cannon shells and grenades.
Tungsten inert gas, or TIG, welding uses a durable tungsten electrode to produce a stronger binding force when welding various metals. Tungsten or metal alloys may be cast from molds or particle sprayed to provide strength. Durable, long-lasting tungsten grinding wheels may be used in dentistry, metal or stone cutting and woodworking. When combined with steel or carbon, industries use tungsten products for construction, drilling and mining as well. Unaffected by oxygen, alkalis or most acids, the metal is commonly used as bearings, pistons, valve seats and other machine parts where friction, heat or corrosion are factors.
Medical tungsten products include the emitter coils in X-ray tubes and the shields used to protect personnel from radiation exposure. Calcium, magnesium and tungsten phosphorus convert X-rays into visible light for viewing. Tungsten is also typically used in liquid crystal displays and the manufacturing of microchips.