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Science Innovation Centre · 074 · Tungsten

This element is no longer available.

Tungsten is a lustrous and silvery white metal. The bulk metal resists attack by oxygen, acids and alkalis. Tungsten has the highest melting point of any metal.

Tungsten is used in filaments in incandescent light bulbs, it is also used in electric contacts and arc-welding electrodes. Tungsten is used in alloys, such as steel, to which it imparts great strength. Cement carbide is the most important use for tungsten: its main component is tungsten carbide (WC). It has the strength to our cast iron and it makes excellent cutting tools for the machining of steel. X-ray tubes for medical use have a tungsten emitter coil and the screen used to view X-rays rely on calcium and magnesium tungstate phosphors to convert X-rays into blue visible light. Tungsten is also used in microchip technology and liquid crystals displays.