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What Is Tungsten?

Tungsten is identified with the symbol W on the periodic table which references its alternate name of Wolfram. It is a metallic chemical element forming part of the transition metals group. Tungsten is not found in a pure form in nature but is found in chemical compounds. The ores it is found in are wolframite and scheelite.

Its appearance is steel-gray and is very strong, durable and corrosion resistant. It has the highest melting point of all non-alloyed metals and the highest tensile strength. Very pure tungsten is ductile but tungsten with some impurities is quite brittle. Tungsten is a very important metal due to its strength and durability and is used in industrial and military settings.

What Is Tungsten Used For?

Tungsten’s major use is in the production of hard materials, in alloys and steels. Other uses include:
  • Jewellery design
  • Wear-resistant abrasives, cutters and knives
  • Ceramic glazes
  • Heat sinks
  • Weights
  • Fluorescent lighting
  • Ballast keels for yachts
  • Ballast for aircraft and race cars
  • Fishing lures
  • Wiring strings for musical instruments
  • Filament in light bulbs
  • Heating elements
  • Welding
  • Electrodes
  • X-ray targets
  • Bullets
  • Radiation shields
  • Glass-to-metal seals
  • Filler for plastic composites

Where Is Tungsten Produced?

Tungsten is produced in Russia, Austria, China, and Portugal.


Tungsten is found in wolframite and scheelite ores, it is very strong, durable and corrosion resistant.

Tungsten has an abundant array of uses, most commonly known to be found in alloys, filaments for light bulbs and X-ray tubes. The largest producers of Tungsten are Russia, Austria and China.

If you would like to learn more about minerals and mining visit our Mining and Metals page.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
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