Tungsten is a dense, whitish-grey, shiny metal which was first discovered in 1781, and isolated in its pure form two years later. Found in the Earth’s crust exclusively in chemical compounds and ores, the metal must be mined and purified before its incredible properties become apparent – but once it is in its pure state, the full extent of its potential becomes apparent.
Pure tungsten has the highest melting point of any known element, and the second-highest boiling point. In addition to this, tungsten has a low coefficient of thermal expansion, making it ideal for use at extremely high temperatures, as it will not warp or change shape appreciably, even when very hot.
As a result, tungsten sees use in a variety of high-temperature, high stress environments, including rocket nozzles, blast furnaces, vacuum furnaces, turbines and other intense applications. One such application is in tungsten crucibles.
Tungsten crucibles are vital in steel smelting, chemical smelting, alloy making and other processes involving safely holding extremely hot liquids.
Few materials could safely contain an industrial amount of molten steel or other metals, but thanks to tungsten’s extremely high melting point and low coefficient of expansion, a tungsten crucible can be the vessel in which alloys are mixed, molten metals are moved and poured, and any number of other high-temperature, high-stress applications take place.
Tungsten crucibles are sought-after across industry thanks to their integrity at high heat – as the element with the highest-known melting point, and a low coefficient of expansion under high heat, they are suitable for use at temperatures well above the failure point of other crucible types. As an added advantage of tungsten crucibles, many superalloys make use of tungsten, molybdenum or niobium, all of which have extraordinarily high melting points. In order to smelt these alloys, the mixture must be at a temperature higher than the melting point of the constituent metals, calling for a tungsten crucible which can withstand truly colossal temperatures.
For more information on tungsten crucibles or to place an order, get in touch with Special Metals UK on 01268 820409 or use the contact form on this page – the experts at Special Metals will be happy to help you find the perfect solution for your business needs!