Six Interesting Facts About Tungsten

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Tungsten is a metal that has atomic number 74, and it has a silver – white color. Many people recognize this metal because it’s used with a light bulb as a filament. Tungsten has an element symbol W, originating from its old name Wolfram.

The date of discovery

The world found about tungsten in 1783 when the Spanish brothers Juan Jose and Fausto D’Elhuyar isolated this element from wolframite ore and they were responsible for the discovery or this metal. However, in 1781 Carl Wilhelm Scheele made an unknown tungstic acid from a material we now call scheelite.

The name

In the past, people called tungsten Wolfram, originating from German wolf’s rahm, which means wolf’s foam. Later all European countries adopted the name tungsten, which means heavy stone. The name was officially changed in 2005, and the changes were also made in the periodic table. The change of name made one of the biggest disputes among the scientists.

Highest melting point

Tungsten has the highest melting point among the all metals, 6191.6 F or 3422 C, lowest vapor pressure and the greatest strength. The pure metal can be easy to work with; it can be cut, forged or spun, any other impurity makes this meal hard to work.

Resistant to heat and wear

This metal is one of the five refractory metals, besides niobium, tantalum, molybdenum and rhenium. They are located close to each other in the periodic table. Refractory metal means it is highly resistant to heat, wear, and corrosion.

Low toxicity

Because of low toxicity, tungsten plays an important biological role in organisms. Some bacteria use tungsten as an enzyme to lower down carboxylic acids to aldehydes. Considering that this metal isn’t toxic, many scientists thinks its use will have a great impact on our future.

Can be an excellent isolation

Tungsten has a high hardness, and it is used as a radioactive isolation. Especially in a hospital, where they need to isolate x – rays and dangerous substance. Tungsten has found its application in nuclear power plants as well. Considering that lead is harmful to human health, tungsten is a great option.

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