Wolframite in quartz
Tungsten (symbol W) is an extremely hard, heavy, steel-gray to white metal that is one of the heaviest of all the elements, remarkable for its robust physical properties and vast uses. In its purest form it is quite pliant and can easily be processed. With high binding energy, tungsten alloys and some tungsten compounds cannot be substituted in many important applications in different fields of modern technology.
Tungsten has a wide range of uses, the largest of which is as tungsten carbide, a wear-resistant material used by the metalworking, mining, petroleum, military construction and jewelry industries. Tungsten is widely used in light bulb and vacuum tube filaments, as well as electrodes, as it can be drawn into very thin metal wires that have a high melting point, similar to the temperature of the sun.
A Metric Tonne Unit ("MTU") is equal to ten kilograms per metric tonne and is the standard weight measure of the tungsten trade. Tungsten prices are generally quoted as US dollars per MTU of Ammonium Paratungstate ("APT") an intermediate product in the production of tungsten metal for which price quotes are generally available. Tungsten prices have surged in the past three years from US$60.00 to the current all time highs of US$472.50 per MTU of APT.
Chemical formula: (Fe, Mn) WO4
Wolframite is a black to grey or brown primary ore of tungsten, with a submetallic to resinous lustre. Wolframite is named after the German word wolfram which means "tungsten." Wolfram is derived from volf (wolf) and rahm (froth) which, in turn, was derived from an earlier name Lupi spuma.
Chemical formula: CaWO4
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