The tungsten (chemical symbol W) is the chemical element with atomic number 74. It has the highest melting point among all metals (3410 ° C) and that is the reason why it is referenced in the Guinness Book of Records. It also has a very high density (19.3), almost two and a half times heavier than iron. Many people associate it with the war as it was very popular during the two World Wars, particularly in Portugal. Tungsten (Swedish tung = heavy, sten = stone), is one of the few chemical elements with two names, the other name is Wolfram.

This designation results from the German Wolf = wolf rahm = foam - ("wolf soot" or "wolf cream") and it appeared when metalworkers in the Middle Ages, during the metallurgy of tin ore, verified the formation of a foam that seemed to "devour" the tin every time that the ores contained wolframite. Therefore they designated the mineral of wolfram. Although there are 45 minerals with tungsten only two (wolframite and scheelite) have economic value.

The metal has multiple applications. The most important is the manufacture of WC pieces (tungsten carbide) for metal cutting. Other applications include hard steels, lamp filaments, dense alloys used, for example, in airplanes, bimetallic alloys for heat dissipation in computers, and for the manufacture of LCDs, ceramic catalysts for the petrochemical industry, applications for glasses which darken with sunlight, among many others.

Category: Wolfram