Tungsten (also sometimes known as wolfram) has the highest melting point of any metal, and is a dense, greyish white, lustrous metal. Quite rare, tungsten is found in the Earth’s crust exclusively bound within ores and other chemical compounds, but finding and purifying it is well worth the effort – once purified, this metal is quite ductile, very dense, and, as mentioned above, has the highest melting point of any element yet discovered. In addition to this, it has an extremely high tensile strength and impressive corrosion resistance, and a low coefficient of thermal expansion.
These traits combine to make tungsten an ideal metal for use in high-temperature applications, including the use of tungsten wire for lighting filaments – an application where the wire must reliably be heated to incandescence for long periods of time without deteriorating. Tungsten wire is ideal for this application – not only will it remain solid at extremely high temperatures, but its low coefficient of thermal expansion means that it will retain its shape and size under considerable thermal strain.
Tungsten wire can also be used in a variety of other applications across a huge range of industries. As a good electrical conductor, it is perfect for use in conductive wiring in devices which will experience extreme thermal stress, like inside furnaces. Tungsten wire can also be used to build heating coils and vacuum heating parts, using its excellent thermal properties to radiate large amounts of heat effectively.
As well as being used in its purified form, Tungsten is also commonly alloyed with a variety of other metals to improve their qualities. Tungsten wire is an excellent precursor to alloying with steel, copper or other, more complex alloy blends, as the thin wire allows very precise amounts of tungsten to be measured out and cut as simply as clipping it with a pair of wire cutters.
Tungsten wire fits a huge number of roles and has an enormous number of possible applications across industry and engineering – for more information about the applications of tungsten wire or to ask about how it can help you, you can get in touch with Special Metals on 01268 820409 or use the contact form on this page! The metals experts on the other end of the line will be happy to help you.