Tungsten Facts

Tungsten Facts
Tungsten (W) has an atomic number of seventy-four. It ranges in color from a steely gray to almost white, and has the highest melting point of any of the metal elements. Carl William Scheele hypothesized the existence of tungsten in 1781 in tungstic acid. Two years later, Jose and Fausto Elhuyar isolated tungsten from an acid created by wolframite.
Interesting Tungsten Facts:
Tungsten exists in four different minerals on Earth: wolframite, scheelite, ferberite, and hubnerite.
Tungsten is the heaviest of all elements known to play a biological role.
There are five naturally occurring isotopes of tungsten that have such long half-lives that they are actually considered to be stable, although they are capable of decay.
The remaining isotopes all half-lives of over four quintillion years.
There are thirty artificial radioactive isotopes of tungsten.
Many of these have half-lives of less than eight minutes.
Tungsten is resistant to attack by alkalis, oxygen, and acids.
Tungsten often reacts with oxygen to form a yellowish compound, tungsten oxide.
Tungsten carbides can also be produced, typically by heated it in its powdered form.
Tungsten was instrumental in World War II, but rather for treaty purposes and not for production purposes.
At the time, China and Portugal were known to have the largest reserves of tungsten-containing ore, and their alignment with either side could have had far-reaching consequences.
Production of tungsten is difficult due to its high melting point.
Around 61,000 tons are produced each year, extracted from various ores.
Tungsten is not bought and sold as a commodity as other elemental metals like gold, silver, and platinum are.
Tungsten carbide is one of the hardest carbides available commercially, so tungsten is often used to create these.
Because of its conductive and anti-corrosion properties, tungsten is often used to make electrical wiring.
While tungsten plays a biological role in organisms, its rarity has meant that it has not been effectively studied as an environmental hazard or toxin.

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