Tungsten Metal Overview
Background
Tungsten, a chemical element that has the symbol W and atomic number 74, has highest melting point of all elements except carbon - sources in scientific literature vary between 3387'C and 3422'C. Tungsten metal also has also excellent high temperature mechanical properties and the lowest expansion coefficient of all metals. A temperature of about 5700'C is needed to bring tungsten metal to boil - which corresponds approximately to the temperature of the sun's surface. With a density of 19.25 g/cm3, tungsten metal is also among the heaviest metals. Its electrical conductivity at 0'C is about 28% of that of silver which itself has the highest conductivity of all metals.
Etymology
The name "Tungsten" (from the Swedish tung sten, meaning "heavy stone") is used in English, French, Italian and many other languages as the name of the element. Tungsten was the old swedish name for the mineral scheelite. The other name "wolfram" used in German and Spanish is derived from the mineral wolframite, and this is also the origin of its chemical symbol, W. The name "wolframite" is derived from "volf rahm", the name given to tungsten by Johan Gottschalk Wallerius in 1747. This, in turn, derives from "Lupi spuma", the name Georg Agricola used for the element in 1546, which translates into English as "wolf's froth" or "cream" (the etymology is not entirely certain), and is a reference to the large amounts of tin consumed by the mineral during its extraction.
Properties