Properties of Tungsten

heavy stone

Background Information

The word tungsten means "heavy stone" in Swedish. The chemical symbol for tungsten is W which stands for wolfram. The name came from medieval German smelters who found that tin ores containing tungsten had a much lower yield. It was said that the tungsten devoured the tin "like a wolf". Pure tungsten metal was first isolated by two Spanish chemists, the de Elhujar brothers in 1783. Tungsten is a greyish-white lustrous metal, which is a solid at room temperature. Tungsten has the highest melting point and lowest vapor pressure of all metals, and at temperatures over 1650°C has the highest tensile strength. It has excellent corrosion resistance and is attacked only slightly by most mineral acids.

Detailed history

Information on tungsten containing minerals

How tungsten wire is produced

Material Safety Data Sheets: Pure Tungsten  Tungsten Heavy Alloy

Book: Tungsten - The Story of an Indispensable Metal

Table of Properties
Atomic Number 74
Atomic Weight 183.86
 Group Number 6
 Electron Configuration 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 5s2 4d10 5p6 6s2 4f14 5d4
CAS Registry Number 7440-33-7
Atomic Volume 9.53
Lattice Type Body Centered Cube
Lattice Constant at 20 ºC, Angstroms 3.1585
Natural Isotopes 180, 182, 183, 184, 186
Density @ 20 ºC (gm/cc) 19.3
Density @ 20 ºC (lb./cu. in.) 0.697
Melting Point ºC 3410
Boiling Point ºC 5530
Linear Coefficient of Expansion per ºC 4.3 x 10E-6
Thermal Conductivity @ 20 ºC (cal/cm/ºC/sec) 0.40
Specific Heat @ 20 ºC (cal/gram/ºC) 0.032
Electronegativity (eV) Pauling 2.36
Electronegativity (eV) Sanderson 0.98
Electronegativity (eV) Allred Rochow 1.40
Electrical Conductivity, % IACS 31
Electrical Resistivity @ 20 ºC (microhm-cm) 5.5
Electrical Resistivity @ 227 ºC (microhm-cm) 10.5
Electrical Resistivity @ 727 ºC (microhm-cm) 24.3
Electrical Resistivity @ 1727 ºC (microhm-cm) 55.7
Electrical Resistivity @ 2727 ºC (microhm-cm) 90.4
Electrical Resistivity @ 3227 ºC (microhm-cm) 108.5
Temperature Coefficient of Electrical Resistivity Per ºC (0 - 100 ºC) 0.0046
Tensile Strength @ Room Temp., psi 100,000 - 500,000
Tensile Strength @ 500 ºC, psi 75,000 - 200,000
Tensile Strength @ 1000 ºC, psi 50,000 - 75,000
Poisson's Ratio 0.284
Hardness (Mineral) 7.5
Hardness (Vickers) 3430
Hardness (Brinell) 2570
 Reflectivity  62%
Total Emissivity @ 1500 ºC 0.23
Total Emissivity @ 2000 ºC 0.28
Working Temperature, ºC <1700
Recrystallization Temperature, ºC 1300 - 1500

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