Tungsten is very ubiquitous these days. It is becoming increasingly difficult to search for a wedding band or other forms of jewelry without being teased with the presence of a beautiful, yet cost friendly alternative to gold or jewelry. True, its look may make you skeptical of the quality of the ring when you see the price. It is far more affordable than gold or silver. However, that does not mean your piece of jewelry will not be made with quality. The tungsten metal is known for its strength and versatility. In fact, while jewelry has become a prevalent use of tungsten it is actually is used in many other things in our every day lives, such as electronics.
Tungsten has a very high resistance to temperature, making it ideal for certain types of materials from television tubes to microwaves. In addition, tungsten is used as a material for thermometers measuring high temperatures. These types of thermometers, or “thermocouples”, consist of two wires of different metals welded together. When the ends of the wire are held at different temperatures, electricity runs through the wire – the measure of this amount of electricity is the temperature difference between the ends.
While tungsten is great in electronics, it is not its only use. Tungsten is used as a very prominent catalyst in many industrial processes. For those who may need a refresher, catalysts help speed up chemical reactions that would normally be slower to happen or not happen at all. Catalysts, while altering the process of other things are not affected during the process – meaning, catalysts are not chemically altered during a reaction. This allows catalysts to be used repeatedly. Typically, a catalyst, such as Tungsten, provides a surface on which the reacting chemicals can “stick”. Basically, this puts the reacting chemicals, or reactants in a position where they can interact and are significantly more likely to create desired reaction.
Tungsten as a catalyst is used to remove harmful nitrogen oxides from power plant emissions, which is better for the environment. In addition, tungsten based catalysts can be used to break down heavy crude oil and make it into something that can be used in every day life, such has lighter oils that are used as lubricating oils or fuels.
Tungsten is much more than a metal to create elegant tungsten wedding bands. It has many unique characteristics that allow it to be very useful in many different aspects.