The tungsten jewelry that can be found in many stores and online are surprisingly not pure tungsten. In actuality, many of the products and devices containing tungsten are never pure tungsten. You may have suspected as some retailers do state the their jewelry is tungsten carbide, and not simply tungsten. Alloys are usually metals mixed with other metals or elements.
Mixing the elements or metals together gives them properties that alone they would not have. Each element brings to the table a unique characteristic that the other elements did not have. For example, adding tungsten as part of an alloy can give that other elements the characteristic strength know to be associated with tungsten. Of the tungsten alloys, one of the most tungsten based alloys is tungsten steel. Tungsten steel is known to be extremely strong and stable at very high temperatures, among other things.
While it is understandable that in researching the purchase or characteristics of your tungsten ring, you may not be aware of all of the properties and developments that contributed to the tungsten based alloys. Tungsten steel, for example, was not developed until around 1857. During that year, Dr. Robert Oxland patented a process to develop tungsten steel. The reason for this development at that time was that tungsten was not easily affordable. However, during Dr. Oxland’s time, the price of tungsten became significantly more affordable.
Tungsten’s characteristics as an alloy were always very alluring since its discovery. However, now due to its availability thanks to its now affordability, tungsten quickly gained immense popularity in the steel industry as an agent used in the alloy process. However, Tungsten steel alloy did not gain much national/international popularity until the Bethlehem Steel Company exhibited a range of tungsten steel alloyed tools at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900.
Tungsten tools range from far more than what the average consumer would come in contact with, such as hammers and screwdrivers. In fact, they are used in very important industrial tool used for cutting, working and forming materials, such as metals and plastics, among others. Because of the friction caused during these processes, tools that can withstand high temperatures and not compromise their integrity are crucial. The elements the tungsten element brings to the tungsten steel alloy allow the steel to withstand significantly higher temperatures, which make the alloy very useful and versatile.
Tungsten’s characteristics, especially when combined with other versatile elements, make tungsten alloys such as tungsten steel an extremely useful part of our society and the manufacturing process.