Essex, Florida (PressExposure) June 03, 2009 -- Tungsten is one of the most important and widely used metals today for a variety of applications. This is because of its sheer durability and toughness that are rarely known in other metals. Tungsten is known to have the highest melting point in all non-alloyed metals and the second highest of all the elements after carbon. Popular applications of tungsten include being components of light bulb filaments, X-ray tubes (both as the filament and the target), superalloys, and recently, as jewelry in the form of a tungsten ring. High-Temperature Applications
Because it has a high melting point and is able to retain its strength at high temperatures, elemental tungsten is used in many high-temperature applications such as in the light bulb, cathode-ray tube, vacuum tube filaments, heating elements, and rocket engine nozzles. Its high melting point also makes tungsten suitable for aerospace and high-temperature uses such as electrical, heating, and welding applications, notably in the gas tungsten arc welding process (also called tungsten inert gas -TIG- welding).
Due to its hardness and density, tungsten is usually used for heavy duty applications such as in power saw blades and drill bits. In the form of superalloys, tungsten is used in turbine blades and wear-resistant parts and coatings. On the other hand, applications requiring its high density include heat sinks, weights, counterweights, ballast keels for yachts, tail ballast for commercial aircraft, and as ballast in race cars for NASCAR and Formula 1.
In armaments, tungsten, usually alloyed with nickel and iron or cobalt to form heavy alloys, is used in kinetic energy penetrators as an alternative to depleted uranium. It may also be used in cannon shells, grenades and missiles to create supersonic shrapnel.
High-density alloys of tungsten may be used in darts (to allow for a smaller diameter and thus tighter groupings) or for fishing lures (tungsten beads allow the fly to sink rapidly). Some types of strings for musical instruments are wound with tungsten wires.
Today, tungsten is being used as jewelry in the form of a tungsten ring. Because its density is similar to that of gold, tungsten has become a reasonable alternative to gold and platinum in jewelries. Unlike other precious metals, tungsten will usually not need polishing, making it especially useful in designs with a brushed finish. Its hardness makes it possible for rings to resist most scratches. Also, unlike gold and platinum, it is known for its hypoallergenic composition.