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|Atomic mass||180,94788 u|
|Density||16,65 g/cm³ (at 20 °C)|
|Melting point||3290 K (3017 °C)|
Located in Mönchengladbach (NRW), HWN titan GmbH provides customers from all over the world with tantalum semi-finished products. See the outstanding quality of our products for yourself and contact our competent service team. You can reach us either by phone or through our online contact form. Our service staff will be happy to help you – if requested, also at our headquarters in Mönchengladbach.
For the chemical element tantalum the symbol Ta is used. It can be found in the 5th subgroup of the periodic table (also called vanadium group) by its atomic number of 73. This rather rare transition metal behaves ductile and shines in graphite grey. Typical applications for tantalum are electrolytic capacitors with a high capacity at a small size.
In 1802 Anders Gustav Ekeberg discovered tantalite in Kimito/Finland and Ytterby/Sweden. The metal was named after a character from the Greek mythology because of its acid resistance. In the same year in Massachusetts, Charles Hatchett found a still unknown element that he called columbium. In 1809, William Hyde Wollaston compared the two oxides extracted from ore with each other and concluded that they are the same element, only in different states of oxidation due to different measurement results of their specific weights.
Heinrich Rose examined these results and was able to prove in 1844 that columbite and tantalum ores contain two different elements. In 1824, Jens Jakob Berzelius succeeded in extracting elementary tantalum by reducing potassium heptaflourotantalate with potassium. However, the extracted substance contained only a tantalum share of 50%. Henri Moissan in turn tried to produce tantalum in an electrical furnace but the extracted metal proved to be very hard and brittle.
At first, tantalum was used for filaments in light bulbs due to easier processing and its higher working temperature of 2300°C in comparison to osmium which was used earlier. Later, tantalum was replaced by the material of tungsten which provides a higher melting point and more luminous efficiency.
On earth, tantalum is very rare and in its occurrence is comparable to arsenic and germanium. In fact, tantalum is the rarest stabile element in our solar system. It can only be found in compound with different metals and always together with niobium. Thus, in order to be extracted it has to be separated from niobium. The first process for this was developed by Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac in 1866. Purple grey tantalum is a high melting heavy metal with a Vickers hardness of 60-120 HV. Most of its properties are similar to niobium’s but at 3000°C tantalum has the highest melting point of all elements in comparison to tungsten, carbon and rhenium. Below a transition temperature of 4,5 Kelvin the material becomes supraconductive. Also, the reactive metal reacts with non-metals like oxygen, halogen or carbon. This property can be exploited for various applications due to the fact that a thin layer of tantalum oxide protects and therefore passivates the material. Its reaction temperature is 300°C. Pure tantalum is ductile and highly elastic, however, small amounts of carbon or hydrogen influence the mechanical properties in a significant way. Due to its brittleness tantalum is difficult to process.
The biocompatible material is used in medical technology for tools, prostheses, bone nails, jawbone screws and clamps. In the field of chemical industries its corrosion resistance is of significance. It is typically used for lining materials for reaction vessels and also for heat exchangers and pumps. In order to enable processing for these tasks tantalum alloyed with tungsten will be used instead of pure tantalum.
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