History of Tungsten

2022-11-03 Share

History of Tungsten


Tungsten is a kind of chemical element with the symbol W and has an atomic number of 74, which can also be called wolfram. Tungsten is difficult to be found in nature as free tungsten, and it is always founded as compounds with other elements.


Tungsten has two kinds of ores. They are scheelite and wolframite. The name Wolfram comes from the latter one. In the 16th century, miners reported a mineral that often accompanied tin ore. Because of the black color and hairy appearance of this kind of mineral, the miners called this kind of ore wolfram. This new fossil was first reported in Georgius Agricolas book, De Natura Fossilium in 1546. Scheelite was discovered in 1750 in Swede. The first one to call it Tungsten is Axel Frederik Cronstedt. Tungsten is composed of two parts, tung, which means heavy in Swedish, and sten, which means stone. Not until the early 1780s, Juan José de D´Elhuyar found that the wolfram contained the same elements as scheelite. In the publication of Juan and his brother, they give this new metal a new name, wolfram. After that, more and more scientists explored this new metal.


In 1847. an engineer named Robert Oxland granted a patent related to tungsten., which is a significant step toward industrialization.

In 1904, the first tungsten light bulbs were patented, which rapidly replaced other products, like the less efficient carbon filament lamps on the lighting markets.


In the 1920s, to produce drawing dies with high hardness, which is close to the diamond, people kept developing the properties of cemented carbide.


After World War II, the economy gets a huge recovery and growth. Tungsten carbide also gets more popular as a kind of tool material, which can be applied to many conditions.


In 1944, K C Li, President of Wah Chang Corporation in the US, published a picture in the Engineering & Mining Journal entitled: "40 Years Growth of the Tungsten Tree (1904-1944)"illustrating the fast development of the various tungsten applications in the field of metallurgy and chemistry.


Since then, with the development of the economy and society, people have had a high requirement for their tools and materials, which urges the continuous updating of tungsten carbide products. Even now, people are still researching and developing this metal to provide better working efficiency and experience.


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