Tungsten, also known as Wolfram, is a grayish white metal, and in its purest form, is quite flexible and can be easily processed. When mixed with other impurities, it becomes brittle and hard, and difficult to work. It usually contains a small concentration of carbon and oxygen and is found in nature only combined with other elements.
In 2005, The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) decided to use the term tungsten instead of wolfram, but “W” remains its chemical symbol (in the Mendeleev periodic table tungsten is the 74th element and its symbol is W).
Remarkable for its robustness, Tungsten has the highest melting point of all metals (3422 ± 15 ° C) and the second highest among all elements, losing only to carbon. At this temperature most other engineering metals (Fe, Al, Cu, Ti) would have already vaporized. Its boiling point (about 5,700°C) is comparable to the surface of the sun. Its high density of 19.25g/cm3, Tungsten is also among the heaviest metals, being almost twice as heavy as lead (Pb).
Tungsten is the most important metal for thermo-emission applications, not only because of its high emissivity of electrons (which is caused by adding foreign elements), but also because of its high thermal and chemical stability.
An essential element in our lives
Tungsten is present in our day to day life and while we are not even aware of it. Its indispensability is real and the use of the metal is everywhere due to its such diverse applications: cell phones, televisions, microwaves, dentist drills, light bulbs, automotive rear-window defrost heaters . Tungsten is even present in ballpoint pens.
Its role is also very relevant in industry. Tungsten makes an important contribution through its use in heavy metal alloys and high speed steel tools, to obtain high levels of productivity in the industries which depend on the economic welfare of the world. It is used in technology, medical, electronics, energy, automotive and aerospace industries.
The British Geological Survey has an interesting video about Tungsten and its importance in our day to day lives.
If you wish to see, click on the link.
Another interesting reference source is the International Tungsten Industry Association (ITIA)