Science

Tungsten: it's a heavy metal!

YouTuber NileRed made a short about a tungsten cube and it’s a heavy sonuvametal.

Compared to 2 cubic inches of aluminium weighing less than a pound (about 450g), a tungsten cube of the same size weighs over 5 pounds. Here are some more facts about the dense metal:

  • Its density is 19.25 g/cm3, which is comparable with uranium and gold. Because of this, tungsten was used in jewellery as a gold alternative.
  • Metallic tungsten is also hypoallergenic and harder than gold alloys, meaning it resists scratching.
  • It has the highest boiling point of all elements (5,930 °C; 10,710 °F; 6,200 K) and melts at 3,422 °C (6,192 °F; 3,695 K).
  • The name tungsten is a Swedish word meaning “heavy stone” but the term “wolfram” is used in most European languages.
  • Tungsten is also used on yachts, commercial aircraft, civil and military helicopters, NASCAR and F1 race cars, incandescent light bulb, vacuum tube filaments, cathode-ray tubes, rocket engine nozzles, and heating elements.
  • In 1928, General Electric’s tried to patent tungsten but a US court rejected the claim.
  • In 2018, tungsten cost around $30,300 per metric ton. At the same weight, gold would cost about $574,917,094 (at its current price of $1,848.40 per troy oz.)

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