Tungsten: the essentials
Pure tungsten is a steel-gray to tin-white metal. Tungsten has the highest melting point and lowest vapour pressure of all metals, and at temperatures over 1650°C has the highest tensile strength. The metal oxidises in air and must be protected at elevated temperatures. It has excellent corrosion resistance and is attacked only slightly by most mineral acids.
Small and large samples of tungsten wire like this, as well as foil, sheet, wire straight cut lengths, insulated wire, and mesh (and tungsten alloys in wire form), can be purchased from Advent Research Materials via their web catalogue.
Tungsten: historical information
Tungsten used to be known as wolfram (from wolframite, said to be named from wolf rahm or spumi lupi, because the ore interfered with the smelting of tin and was supposed to devour the tin). The de Elhuyar brothers found an acid in wolframite in 1783 that they succeeded in reducing to the elemental metal with charcoal.
Tungsten around us Read more »
Tungsten has a limited biological role. A number of enzymes (oxidoreductases) employ tungsten in a way related to molybdenum, (using tungsten.pterin complex). The structure of a tungstoenzyme aldehyde ferredoxin oxidoreductase is known (Protein Data Bank code 1AOR).
Tungsten is found in wolframite (iron-manganese tungstate, FeWO4/MnWO4) and scheelite (calcium tungstate, CaWO4) ores. China produces 75% of the world's tungsten.
|Location||ppb by weight||ppb by atoms||Links|
|Human||(no data) ppb by weight||(no data) atoms relative to C = 1000000|
Physical properties Read more »
Heat properties Read more »
- Melting point: 3695 [3422 °C (6192 °F)] K
- Boiling point: 5828 [5555 °C (10031 °F)] K
- Enthalpy of fusion: |203| kJ mol-1
Crystal structure Read more »
The solid state structure of tungsten is: bcc (body-centred cubic).
Tungsten: orbital properties Read more »
Tungsten atoms have 74 electrons and the shell structure is 18.104.22.168.12.2. The ground state electronic configuration of neutral Tungsten is [Xe].4f14.5d4.6s2 and the term symbol of Tungsten is 5D0.
- Pauling electronegativity: 2.36 (Pauling units)
- First ionisation energy: 770 kJ mol‑1
- Second ionisation energy: 1700 kJ mol‑1
Isolation: coming soon!
Tungsten isotopes Read more »
Tungsten isotopes are used in several applications. W-180 is used for the production of the therapeutic radioisotope W-181. W-186 is used for the production of W-188 which is used in so-called Tungsten-Rhenium generators. The W-188 daughter Re-188 is (milked( from there generators and used as a therapeutic radioisotope. W-184 has been used to study the elastic and inelastic scattering of heavy ions.
|180W||179.946701 (5)||0.12 (1)||0|
|182W||181.948202 (3)||26.50 (16)||0|
|183W||182.950220 (3)||14.31 (4)||1/2||0.1177847|
|184W||183.950928 (3)||30.64 (2)||0|
|186W||185.954357 (4)||28.43 (19)||0|