Tungsten – periodic symbol W – lays claim to the highest melting point of all elements. This characteristic combined with an excellent ability to resist thermal shock enhances its ability to function well as a heat sink. Rocket cones, which must withstand rapid temperature changes and repeated on and off cycles, are often made of tungsten.
Tungsten’s hardness makes it an ideal material for cutting tools or components used in oil and gas wells, and its ability to withstand heat and corrosion makes it an ideal material for microelectronics.
Tungsten is a very dense material, almost as dense as gold, and 50 percent more dense than lead. However, this refractory metal is far more environmentally friendly than lead and less expensive than gold. Tungsten’s density makes it an ideal radiation shielding material for use in medical devices (e.g. radiotherapy devices).
Tungsten’s density also allows it to efficiently block radiation from certain areas while directing it to others. It can direct and shape a beam of radiation, allowing doctors more precision and control while treating cancerous tissue. With the use of tungsten devices and shields, doctors are able to target cancerous areas, while simultaneously shielding healthy tissue from the harmful effects of radiation.
Confluent Maine regularly drills Tungsten bars, manufacturing seamless tungsten tubing for customers with refractory metal tubing applications.