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Different Types of Tungsten Alloys and It Uses

Metals have always influenced the human species. Since time unknown to the latest generation where there’s no room without metal. However, we cannot apply the naturally available material to every requirement. This is why our scientists have innovated composites and alloys. Tungsten alloys have found their way in many applications these days. They are basically a combination of various metals to arrive at the desired density, thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity.

What is Tungsten Alloy?

Tungsten is a naturally occurring metal with the highest melting point. For which it has found its application in electronics, weapons, aerospace, and even in jewelry. In this blog, we will talk about the types of tungsten alloys and types of superalloys.

  • Molybdenum Tungsten Alloy

Molybdenum Tungsten alloy contains Molybdenum(Mo) and Tungsten(W). It is an alloy that has 20%, 30%, or 50% of Tungsten. Every type has different applications. The primary traits of these alloys are their high corrosion resistance. And their ability to withstand extremely higher temperatures.

Applications:

– They play the main role in the manufacturing process of Zinc. Since they are highly resistant to corrosion, you can use them to handle liquid Zinc.
– Since they can withstand high temperatures, the glass industry uses them as stirring tools.
– These alloys even find their use in solid rocket engine rudders. They offer good thermal resistance and withstand ablation and erosion.
– This material primarily finds its use in handling molten metal at high temperatures.

  • Tungsten Heavy Alloy (WHA)

Heavy alloys are basically alloys that have two or more metals combined to have a high density. Tungsten usually gets paired with a nickel-iron or nickel-copper matrix to get the desired density and weight. Manufacturing happens by powder metallurgy or sintering process. Tungsten Heavy Alloy shows excellent density (17-19 g/cm3). Only expensive metals like gold, uranium, and platinum have such high densities. But, these expensive metals lack mechanical properties.

The machinability of pure tungsten is considerably lesser than tungsten heavy alloy. Also, they exhibit better radiation shielding properties. It makes them suitable for aerospace applications. They are also much more affordable than pure tungsten.

Applications:

– Due to their high density, they find their application in situations requiring counterweights. Thus, it can prevent swinging, vibration, and off-balance in a system.
– Radiation shielding is one of the most talked-about applications of the tungsten heavy alloy. They are more efficient than lead-based radiation shields and are not toxic to the environment like lead.
– Machining tools for lathes, milling machines are also made from this tungsten heavy alloy due to their excellent wear resistance. This property significantly improves the machining accuracy.

  • Tungsten Copper Alloy

tungsten copper alloyTungsten copper alloy is another popular alloy because of its versatile uses. The alloy itself is the result of powder metallurgy. You can change the properties of the alloy by altering the soaking metals, sintering, and compressing conditions.

The high electrical conductivity of copper makes it possible for this tungsten copper alloy to have similar properties. This alloy has a high resistance to corrosion like any other tungsten-based alloy. Despite the high mechanical strength, you can easily machine the alloy into intricate components.

Applications:

1. Tungsten copper alloy is a popular option for use as an electrode for welding purposes. They have high-temperature resistance, high specific gravity. They also have arc ablation resistance that makes them perfectly suitable for this application.
2. The low expansion characteristics make it a suitable material for making electronic packaging sheets.
3. With tungsten copper alloy, you can make rods of very small diameters that retain the property of a refractory metal.
4. In electrical engineering, this alloy transforms into an electric wire due to its stable electrical conductivity. Furthermore, the wire doesn’t easily wear and last long. Hence, it is suitable for extreme applications.
5. They are an important material in making nozzles, gas rudders, and nose cones of rockets and missiles. They can withstand temperatures up to 5000K. Which makes them suitable for several aerospace applications.

Types of Tungsten Superalloys

tungsten-heavy-alloy-radiation-shieldingTungsten superalloys are a combination of tungsten and other metals which creates a much denser material. Tungsten superalloys can withstand temperatures of several thousand degrees. Hence, you can see them in many aerospace applications. Such as thermal protection, engine components, and missile casing.

Tungsten superalloy is also used in nuclear applications where resistance to high radiation is a requirement. Because of these reasons, tungsten superalloys are widely used in the aerospace industry.

Some of the most common tungsten superalloys are: 

– Tungsten-nickel (W-Ni) alloy, W-Co-Ni-Ti (WCN) alloy

– Tungsten-chromium-molybdenum (W-Cr-Mo) alloy

– Tungsten-carbide-molybdenum (W-C-Mo)

– Tungsten-silicide-molybdenum (W-Si-Mo) alloy

– Tungsten-molybdenum-copper (W-Mo-Cu).

Applications of Superalloys:

1. Tungsten superalloys play a part in the manufacturing of most high-temperature components of the engines. They find their applications in turbine engines such as the turbine of jet engines, and turboprop engines.

2. They are also used in the manufacturing of hot gas path components. They play a part in the manufacturing of combustion chambers, nozzles, blades, and other components of the rocket engines

Conclusion

These are the most commonly used tungsten alloys and their applications. Simply put, without tungsten and its alloys, many industries will not have advanced as it has over the last decade. Agescan International specializes in manufacturing, machining, and sales of Tungsten Heavy Alloys and other specialized metals. You can reach out at AgenscanTungsten.com or contact at +1 647-284-3766 to know more.

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