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What Are the Different Tungsten Products?

Tungsten is used as filament in incandescent lightbulbs.
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  • Written By: Maggie J. Hall
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 13 July 2014
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Tungsten products generally include everything from household items to aerospace technology. The metal is almost as dense as gold and has the highest melting point of any metal in purest form at 6,192°F (3,422°C). These properties popularize the use of tungsten in many applications. Tungsten has a wide range of industrial use when combined with other elements and industrial metals to make metal alloys or superalloys.

People use tungsten products daily without realizing it. Extreme heat resistance enables thin tungsten wire to be used as the filament in incandescent light bulbs, for example, and when combined with calcium and magnesium, it becomes fluorescent lighting. This quality also allows tungsten to be incorporated into the heating elements of heaters and furnaces. Artisans also might use tungsten oxide in ceramic and glassware glazes, producing a yellowish hue. Comparable to gold in hardness, the metal may substitute for gold or platinum in jewelry making, as tungsten is hypoallergenic and virtually scratch resistant.

Tungsten weights or powder might also be implemented to enhance the driving force in golf club heads. Tungsten combined with copper, iron or nickel may be used in making high-quality darts or for the strings of certain musical instruments. Commercial aircraft, race cars and yachts contain tungsten products, as the metal’s density provides counterweight, weight and stability.

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Tungsten alloys are frequently incorporated into the turbines of aircraft engines as well. The metal is a constituent of various military items, as tungsten products are a part of the nozzles of projectile rockets and armor penetrating missiles. Cobalt, iron, nickel and tungsten also are the components used in cannon shells and grenades.

Tungsten inert gas, or TIG, welding uses a durable tungsten electrode to produce a stronger binding force when welding various metals. Tungsten or metal alloys may be cast from molds or particle sprayed to provide strength. Durable, long-lasting tungsten grinding wheels may be used in dentistry, metal or stone cutting and woodworking. When combined with steel or carbon, industries use tungsten products for construction, drilling and mining as well. Unaffected by oxygen, alkalis or most acids, the metal is commonly used as bearings, pistons, valve seats and other machine parts where friction, heat or corrosion are factors.

Medical tungsten products include the emitter coils in X-ray tubes and the shields used to protect personnel from radiation exposure. Calcium, magnesium and tungsten phosphorus convert X-rays into visible light for viewing. Tungsten is also typically used in liquid crystal displays and the manufacturing of microchips.

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Discuss this Article

anon299846
Post 8

Wedding bands made of tungsten are also a great tungsten product. They are very desirable as a ring metal since it is scratch resistant and more affordable than other precious metals.

NathanG
Post 7

@SkyWhisperer - Tungsten is indeed a versatile metal with a lot of applications. Many people are discovering that it is both cheap and strong. One of the tungsten carbide products that I own is a blade sharpener.

It’s very effective at sharpening my kitchen knives. I’ve used the blade sharpener for years and it’s never gotten dull. My knives are as sharp today as they were the first day that I bought them, making my work in the kitchen a breeze.

SkyWhisperer
Post 6

Tungsten light bulbs are here to stay in my opinion. I prefer a light bulb using the simple tungsten element than some of the fancy alternatives proposed today, like the compact fluorescent light bulbs. Those light bulbs can be unsafe if they are broken, releasing the gas that’s inside of them.

The tungsten element in the standard light bulb is much safer in my opinion. The only thing I don’t like about tungsten lighting is the yellow cast it gives off. It’s okay for general ambience, but sometimes I do photography and the yellow cast is undesirable. In that case I slap on some filters on my camera and it takes care of it.

seag47
Post 5

I didn't know until reading this that my incandescent light bulbs contained tungsten. Even though most people have switched to the newer type of bulb, I still prefer the old incandescent ones.

For one thing, they put out more heat. It seems like I don't have to turn my thermostat up as high in the winter because of this.

Also, I have an incandescent bulb in my utility room outside, where my dog sleeps. It keeps the room warm for him at night when I shut the door.

Oceana
Post 4

My boyfriend has a really cool tungsten carbide ring. He plays guitar in a band, so the fact that it is scratch resistant appealed to him.

It doesn't look like most simple tungsten rings. It has multiple facets, so it seems to shine in the stage lights. This gives it an interesting texture, also.

He is rather fashion conscious, and he likes the dark silver color of the tungsten ring. He also likes to stand out from the crowd, so the faceted surface is great for him. He wouldn't be caught wearing a regular old ring.

sunshined
Post 3

@John57 - When we were looking at rings, I found the gold rings to be more expensive than tungsten. It might also depend on how many carats of gold you are looking at, but the tungsten prices of rings was reasonable.

You can find matching tungsten rings and it depends on the style of ring you are looking for whether you will like tungsten or not. Most of the ones I saw were bands and you could have diamonds in the bands.

They were light and dainty, and looked nice next to the rings for men. If you are looking for more of a traditional wedding ring with a big diamond, you probably would not want to go with tungsten.

I think it is nice to have so many choices available. You don't have to choose just one type of metal or style, and have a wide range of prices to choose from.

John57
Post 2

How much does tungsten cost compared to gold?

It sounds like more people are going with platinum or tungsten rings because of the benefits that have been mentioned. I have no idea if this is cheaper or more expensive than gold.

Are there tungsten rings that look nice for women, or is this something that mostly men wear? I think it would be nice to have matching rings, but want something that looks pretty and feminine.

bagley79
Post 1

We chose a tungsten ring for my husband when we got married. We both loved how they looked and when we heard about all the benefits, we were sold.

He works in construction, so needed something that is durable and scratch resistant. A tungsten ring is perfect for something like this.

The lady where we bought our rings said that tungsten is a harder metal than gold and that is why it holds up so well. She said the only thing that can scratch this is a diamond.

Another thing we like about tungsten, is it always looks shiny and polished. Because gold is softer, it can look dull and scratched over time. The tungsten ring still looks as good as the day we bought it, even though my husband puts it through a lot of abuse.

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