Tungsten (derived from the Swedish phrase “tung sten”, meaning heavy stone) is a hard, brittle, steel-grey metal that is difficult to work unless in the very pure state, when it is more malleable and ductile.

It has the highest tensile strength and the lowest thermal expansion of all metals. It has the second highest melting point of all elements after carbon. Its density is almost twice that of lead and comparable to that of gold.  It is an excellent conductor of electricity.

Tungsten is a relatively inactive metal with excellent corrosion resistance.

Tungsten product uses

Tungsten is alloyed with steel to enhance its hardness and strength, especially at high temperatures, as well as conferring a low coefficient of friction. The majority of tungsten alloys are used in high strength / high temperature applications such as mining drills; metal-cutting tools; furnace heating elements; aircraft engine parts; and electronic transmission equipment for radio, television, and radar.

Tungsten is an excellent choice for use as a wire filament in incandescent light bulbs due to its extremely high melting point - an electric current applied through the wire causes it to heat up and give off light.

Another significant application is the production of very hard materials based on tungsten carbide, an extremely strong structural material with a very high melting point. It is used to make parts for electrical circuits, industrial cutting tools and abrasive products. 

Tungsten properties

Density (at room temp.) 19.25 g/cm3
Melting point 3422°C
Specific heat capacity (at 25°C) 24.27 J.mol-1.K-1
Electrical resistivity (at 20°C) 52.8 nΩ.m
Thermal conductivity (at 300 K) 173 W.m-1.K-1
Thermal expansion (at 25°C) 4.5 μm.m-1.K-1

Tungsten origins

Tungsten occurs combined in chemical compounds; extraction of the pure metal is done in several stages.

LKAB Minerals' Tungsten originates from reliable sources in the U.S. and China.

Tungsten is sold as

  • Tungsten bars (different sizes)
  • Tungsten powder
  • Tungsten oxides (yellow and blue)
  • Tungsten carbide powder

Tungsten toxicology


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