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Tungsten

What is Tungsten

Tungsten (pronunciation TUNG-sten [2]), represented by the chemical symbol or formula W [1], is a hard, brittle element belonging to the family of transition metals [3]. Naturally occurring W is a mixture of 5 isotopes with mass numbers 180, 182, 183, 184 and 186 [1, 3]. Besides that, it has 33 synthetic, radioactive isotopes with known half-lives [3]. It doesn’t react with water and oxygen (air) at room temperature. In red hot condition, it forms its oxide. It reacts with halogens but remains unaffected by most acids and bases [9].

Tungsten

Where Is It Found

The metal does not occur freely in nature. Its principal ores are wolframite and scheelite. Commercially, it is produced by reducing tungsten oxide with carbon or hydrogen [1]. It is mined in China (world’s leading producer), Austria, Portugal and Bolivia [21].

History

Origin of Its Name: Its name is derived from the Swedish words “tung sten” meaning heavy stone [1]. The origin of its chemical symbol is its earlier German name, Wolfram that is derived from the mineral wolframite from which it was first extracted [2].

Who Discovered Tungsten: Spanish chemist brothers, Juan and Fausto Elhuyar [1, 2].

When Was It Discovered: Its discovery year is 1783 [1].

How Was It Discovered

In 1779, Irish chemist Peter Woulfe investigated a mineral from Sweden and concluded that it contained a new metal but did not isolate it. In 1781, German-Swedish chemist Wilhelm Scheele examined it and separated an acidic white oxide from it which he observed to be an oxide of a new metal. Finally, in 1783 the Elhuyar brothers successfully reduced the oxidze to metallic tungsten by heating it with carbon at the Seminary at Vergara, in Spain [1, 3].

Tungsten Element

Tungsten Identification

Atomic Number  74 [1]
CAS Number  7440-33-7 [1]
Position in the periodic table Group Period Block
  6 [1] 6 [1] d [1]

Properties and Characteristics of Tungsten

General Properties

Atomic mass 183.84  atomic mass units [1]
Atomic weight 183.84 [1]
Mass number 184 [3]
Molar mass/molecular weight 183.84 g/mol [14]

Physical Properties

Color/appearance Silvery-white [3]
Luster Metallic [3]
Melting point/freezing point 3414°C, 6177°F [1]
Boiling point 5555°C, 10031°F [1]
Density 19.3 g cm-3 [1]
State of matter at room temperature (normal phase) Solid [1]
Thermal Conductivity 164 W/(m K) [17]
Electrical Conductivity 18X106[1/ohm-m)] [17]
Specific heat capacity 0.134 J/g K [16]
Specific gravity 19.25 [18]
Resistivity 5.60X10-8 ohm-m [13]
Hardness (Mohs scale) 7.5 [27]
Ductility Limited/nil [19]
Malleability Yes [22]
Yield strength 550 MPa [24]
Tensile strength 100,000 – 500,000 psi [25]
Temperature coefficient 0.0045 [26]

Chemical Properties

Oxidation states/ionic charge 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 0 [1]
Flammability Yes (W powder) [20]

Magnetic Properties

Magnetic ordering Paramagnetic [11]

Atomic Data of Tungsten (Element 74)

Valence electrons 6 [4]
Valency +2, +3, +4, +5, +6 [7]
Quantum numbers
– n 5 [5]
– ℓ 2 [5]
– m 1 [5]
– m s [5]
Electron configuration (noble gas configuration) [Xe] 4f145d46s2 [1]
Crystal structure Body-centered cubic [8]
Lattice constant 316.52, 316.52, 316.52 pm [28]
Atomic structure
– Number of Electrons 74 [3]
– Number of Neutrons 110 [3]
– Number of Protons 74 [3]
Energy levels [3]
– First Energy Level 2
– Second Energy Level 8
– Third Energy Level 18
– Fourth Energy Level 32
– Fifth Energy Level 12
– Sixth Energy Level 2
Radius of atom
– Atomic Radius 2.18 Å [1]
– Covalent Radius 1.50 Å [1]
Electronegativity (Pauling scale) 1.7 [1]
Ionization energy

(kJmol-1) [1]

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
758.764 1553.4

Tungsten Electron Configuration (Bohr Model)

Tungsten Uses

  1. As filaments in old style of incandescent electric bulbs. They are not much used these days as they are not energy efficient [1].
  2. It is alloyed with other metals or steel for strengthening them. The metal and its alloys have many high-temperature applications such as heating elements in high-temperature furnaces, arc-welding electrodes, etc [1].
  3. Tungsten carbide being massively hard is important to the mining, metal-working and petroleum industries. It also makes excellent drilling and cutting tools [1].
  4. Fluorescent lighting widely uses magnesium and calcium tungstates [1].
  5. Making jewelry and fishing equipment [12, 29].

What Does Tungsten Look Like

Is It Dangerous

Though the element is considered to be of low toxicity to humans, inhaling hazardous W dust may lead to chronic poisoning that may result in pulmonary fibrosis [3, 10]. Exposure may also pose a risk of allergy [20].

Tungsten Metal

Interesting Facts

  • Tungsten is the metal which has the highest melting point [1].
  • It is the strongest metal for its highest tensile strength [23].
  • It does not rust, tarnish and is scratch resistant [15]!

Tungsten Images

Tungsten (W Element) Cost

The pure metal is priced at $11 for every 100 gram and in bulk, the same quantity costs $2.95 [3].

References

  1. http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/74/tungsten
  2. https://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele074.html
  3. https://www.chemicool.com/elements/tungsten.html
  4. http://periodictable.com/Properties/A/Valence.al.html
  5. http://chemistry-reference.com/q_elements.asp?Symbol=W&language=en
  6. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-valence-or-valency-606459
  7. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-valence-or-valency-606459
  8. https://www.webelements.com/tungsten/crystal_structure.html
  9. http://objetoseducacionais2.mec.gov.br/bitstream/handle/mec/10496/reactions/74.htm
  10. https://patient.info/doctor/tungsten-poisoning
  11. https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/102463/is-it-possible-to-detect-fake-tungsten-aka-wolfram-gold-bars-with-a-strong-magne
  12. https://www.larsonjewelers.com/
  13. https://hypertextbook.com/facts/2004/DeannaStewart.shtml
  14. http://www.noblemind.com/search.exe?keyword=Tungsten+Molar+Mass&var=2
  15. https://www.overstock.com/guides/tungsten-rings-fact-sheet/
  16. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Tables/sphtt.html
  17. https://www.plansee.com/en/materials/tungsten.html
  18. https://www.reade.com/reade-resources/reference-educational/reade-reference-chart-particle-property-briefings/25-specific-gravity-table-metals-minerals-ceramics-substance
  19. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921509317312704
  20. http://pt.chemicalstore.com/W%20-%20Tungsten.html
  21. https://mineralseducationcoalition.org/elements/tungsten/
  22. https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-tungsten-definition-properties-uses.html
  23. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-strongest-hardest-metals-mike-m-/
  24. http://www.goodfellow.com/E/Tungsten.html
  25. https://www.tungsten.com/materials/tungsten/
  26. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Tables/rstiv.html
  27. https://www.jewelrynotes.com/the-mohs-scale-of-hardness-for-metals-why-it-is-important/
  28. http://periodictable.com/Properties/A/LatticeConstants.html
  29. https://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Tungsten_Bullet_Weights/catpage-TTTB.html

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