Tungsten carbide wedding rings have developed the reputation of being one of the durable types of wedding bands. Due to its hardness (it is one of the hardest substances known to man) it is extremely difficult to scratch. This ruggedness is perfect for those who live an active lifestyle and allows those individuals to not have to deal with scratching their wedding ring and making it look damaged.
Tungsten is a very unique metal with very unique characteristics. Tungsten is a very heavy metal. In fact, tungsten derives its name from the Swedish words tung and sten, which means “heavy stone”. In terms of weight compared to lead, a cubic inch of lead weighs half as much as a cubic inch of tungsten. Just to put in as a perspective, a cubic inch of lead weighs about six and a half ounces (a little less than half a pound).
Much has been said about tungsten’s toughness and high durability, but it is also pretty brittle. In fact, it is possible to cut a piece of with a hacksaw. Some tungsten wedding bands have been known to break if dropped from a fairly high distance. Nonetheless, tungsten carbide is still one of the toughest and strongest of all metals known to man.
One of tungsten’s most amazing characteristics comes from its ability to withstand heat. With the exception of carbon, tungsten has the highest melting point of all elements. Tungsten has a melting point (the point where it changes from a solid to a liquid) of 6,152 degrees Fahrenheit (3,410 degrees Celsius). At 4,982 degrees Fahrenheit, another “tough” metal – Iron – is already boiling. At high temperatures, tungsten keeps its profound strength and does not begin to expand nearly as much as other metals. Because of its ability to remain strong under high temperatures, tungsten is used in space travel.
Another interesting characteristic of tungsten is that it does not react with many other substances including acids. Tungsten is resistant to most acids, which also aids in the jewelry industry. The lack of reaction with acids and other elements prevents your finger from turning green.
The characteristics such as heavy weight, high durability, scratch resistance, high melting point and low reaction to chemicals are only a few characteristics that make tungsten carbide so desirable in jewelry. There are several other characteristics such as high polish and affordability that make tungsten carbide so popular.