Goodfellow Material of the Week
Tungsten was isolated in 1783 by J.J. and F. Ehuijar in Vergara, Sweden.
Tungsten metal is lustrous and silvery white in color, and does not occur naturally (it has an abundance of 1 ppm in the earth's crust). It is found in the ore Wolframite, a tungstate of iron and manganese, (FeMn)WO4, which is converted to the trioxide and then reduced to the metal by reduction in hydrogen (carbon cannot be used as the very stable carbide would result). Tungsten metal is relatively inert, resisting attack by oxygen, acids and alkalis, although it will react with fused, oxidising alkali media. It has the highest melting point of all metals and, when pure, it can be worked with relative ease; however, the presence of impurities renders tungsten extremely brittle and, therefore, difficult to fabricate.
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