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Science Innovation Centre · 073 · Tantalum

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Tantalum is a shiny, silvery metal which is soft when is pure. It is almost immune to chemical attack at temperatures below 150°C. Tantalum is virtually resistant to corrosion due to an oxide film on its surface.

Tantalum finds use in four areas: high-temperature applications, such as aircraft engines; electrical devices, such as capacitors; surgical implants and handling corrosive chemicals. It is rarely used as an alloying agent because it tends to make metals brittle. Tantalum resist corrosion and is almost impervious to chemical attack, for this reason it has been employed in chemical industry, e.g. for heat exchanger in boilers where strong acids are vaporised.