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Information on tungsten: sources, properties and uses

Chemical Applications

Since the dawn of tungsten chemistry at the end of the 18th century, coloured tungsten compounds have attracted people.  The first to mention the beauty of yellow tungsten oxide, Rudolf Erick Raspe, had already proposed it as an artist's colour.  Later, Friedrich Wöhler examined the group of colourful tungsten bronzes.

By the end of the 19th century, tungsten salts were used to make coloured cotton fast or washable and to make clothes used for theatrical and other purposes non-inflammable.

In the 1930's, new applications arose in the oil industry for the hydrotreating of crude oils and, in the sixties, new catalysts were invented containing tungsten compounds to treat exhaust gases.

Over the years, however, the amount of tungsten used for these applications has remained small compared to steel, mill products or cemented carbides.

For more information on Tungsten Chemicals and their Applications, see the article in the June 2011 Newsletter.

© 2011 International Tungsten Industry Association
Copyright image courtesy of Porzellanfabrik Frauenthal