Introduction to Pure Tungsten Powder

Table of Contents

Pure tungsten powder offers the highest density, strength, and thermal properties among metals. This guide provides a detailed overview of unalloyed tungsten powder for industrial applications.

Introduction to Pure Tungsten Powder

Pure tungsten powder contains >99.9% tungsten with minimal impurities. Key properties:

  • Extremely high density of 19.3 g/cc
  • Highest melting point of all metals – 3422°C
  • High temperature strength
  • Excellent thermal conductivity
  • Low coefficient of thermal expansion
  • Good corrosion and oxidation resistance

Benefits over alloyed powders:

  • Superior thermal properties
  • Improved electrical conductivity
  • Higher density and purity
  • Better sintered strength
  • Avoidance of alloying elements

With its unsurpassed density and temperature resistance, pure tungsten enables high performance applications across industries.

pure tungsten powder

Types of Pure Tungsten Powder

Various grades of pure tungsten powder:

Types of Pure Tungsten Powder

TypePurityParticle SizeMorphology
Pure99.9% W1-150 μmIrregular, angular
Ultrafine99.9% W<10 μmSpherical
Nanopowder>99.9% W<100 nmSpherical
High purity99.95-99.99% W1-45 μmSponge-like

Purity levels range from 99.9% to 99.999% tungsten content. Particle size, shape, and production method can be varied based on application.

Composition of Pure Tungsten Powder

Typical composition of pure tungsten powder:

  • Tungsten (W) – 99.9% to 99.999%
  • Oxygen (O) – 500-1000 ppm
  • Carbon (C) – 100-300 ppm
  • Nitrogen (N) – 20-100 ppm
  • Hydrogen (H) – 20-100 ppm
  • Potassium (K) – 20-50 ppm
  • Sodium (Na) – 10-50 ppm

Higher purity grades minimize oxygen and other interstitials for better ductility and corrosion resistance.

Properties of Pure Tungsten Powder

Properties of Pure Tungsten Powder

Density19.3 g/cc
Melting point3422°C
Thermal conductivity173 W/mK
Electrical resistivity5.6 μΩ-cm
Tensile strength550-620 MPa
Elastic modulus400 GPa
Thermal expansion coefficient4.5 x 10-6/K

The extreme density, thermal properties, strength, and temperature resistance make pure tungsten suitable for high performance applications.

Characteristics of Pure Tungsten Powder

Characteristics of Pure Tungsten Powder

Particle size1-150 μmSmaller sizes improve sintering
Particle shapeVaried – angular, sphericalImpacts density and flow
Apparent density3-4 g/ccIndicates compaction properties
Tap density9-11 g/ccHigh packing density
Flow rate20-25 s/50gMeasure of powder flowability
Oxygen content<1000 ppmAffects ductility and strength

Controlling size distribution, shape, surface area, density, and oxygen content is crucial for pure tungsten powder functionality.

Specifications of Pure Tungsten Powder

Pure Tungsten Powder Specifications

Tungsten content>99.9%ASTM B763
Particle size1-10 μmASTM B213
Apparent density>3 g/ccASTM B212
Tap density>9 g/ccMPIF 04
Flow rate<25 s/50gASTM B213
Oxygen content<1000 ppmASTM B939

Compliance with standardized specifications ensures batch-to-batch consistency and suitability for industrial applications.

Particle Sizes of Pure Tungsten Powder

Common particle size ranges:

Pure Tungsten Powder Particle Sizes

SizeDescriptionTypical Uses
1-10 μmUltrafine gradeAdditive manufacturing
10-25 μmFine gradePowder injection molding
25-45 μmMedium gradeCutting tools
45-150 μmCoarse gradeTungsten heavy alloys

Smaller particles sizes improve sintering and material properties but reduce flowability. Larger particles offer better packing density.

Grades of Pure Tungsten Powder

Grades of Pure Tungsten Powder

GradePurity (%W)Oxygen (ppm)Particle Size (μm)

CP – Crude powder, RMP – Reactor melt powder, SP – Sodium-reduced powder, EL-Grade – High purity

Higher purity reduces impurities and contamination for improved performance.

Global Standards for Pure Tungsten Powder

Key standards for pure tungsten powder:

  • ASTM B763 – Standard specification for pure tungsten powder
  • ISO 18274 – Chemical analysis of pure tungsten powders
  • MPIF Standard 55 – Material standards for tungsten powder
  • ASTM B939 – Guide to characterization of tungsten powder
  • GB/T 4408 – Chinese standard for tungsten powders

These help ensure quality for different applications worldwide. Customized powders can also be produced as per requirements.

Applications of Pure Tungsten Powder

Applications of Pure Tungsten Powder

AerospaceRadiation shielding, counterweights
AutomotiveVibration damping in vehicles
ElectronicsHeat sinks, contacts, electrodes
MilitaryKinetic energy penetrators, ordnance
ManufacturingCutting tools, dies, tooling
Oil and gasHigh density drilling mud additive

Pure tungsten’s extreme density and temperature resistance make it ideal for high-performance parts and components across sectors.

Suppliers of Pure Tungsten Powder

Leading Suppliers of Pure Tungsten Powder

HC StarckGermany, USA
Buffalo TungstenUSA
Midwest TungstenUSA
Zhuzhou Cemented CarbideChina

These established manufacturers offer various pure tungsten powder types and can customize grades based on purity, particle size, and property requirements.

Cost Analysis of Pure Tungsten Powder

Pure Tungsten Powder Pricing

GradePrice per kg
CP (99.9% W)$100-150
RMP (99.95% W)$150-200
SP (99.98% W)$200-300
EL-Grade (99.99% W)$300-500

Pricing depends on purity, particle characteristics, supplier, and order volume. Prices are higher for finer particle sizes and higher purity.

Pros and Cons of Pure Tungsten Powder

Advantages of Pure Tungsten Powder

  • Superior thermal conductivity and temperature resistance
  • Improved strength and ductility over alloyed grades
  • Highest density of all metallic powders
  • Environmentally stable and inert
  • Better finishing and surface roughness
  • Can be recycled from scrap and waste

Limitations of Pure Tungsten Powder

  • Very expensive compared to other powders
  • Challenging to process due to high melting point
  • Lower fracture toughness than alloyed tungsten
  • Limited global supply and availability
  • Requires handling precautions due to dust explosion risks
  • Difficult to machine finished parts

For critical applications where performance outweighs cost, unalloyed tungsten is the material of choice. Proper precautions are necessary during handling and processing.

Comparison of Pure Tungsten Powder with Other Metals

Comparison With Alternative Metal Powders

Density (g/cc)19.310.316.6
Melting point (°C)342226172996
Thermal conductivity (W/mK)17313857
Electrical resistivity (μΩ-cm)5.65.713
Price per kg$100-$500$30-$100$250-$500

Tungsten outperforms other refractory metals on key thermal and mechanical characteristics but with higher cost.

pure tungsten powder


Q: How is pure tungsten powder produced?

A: Pure tungsten is mainly produced by reduction of tungsten oxide using hydrogen. Additional steps of crushing, milling, annealing, and blending achieve the desired powder characteristics.

Q: What is pure tungsten powder used for?

A: Key applications include radiation shielding, counterweights, tooling, cutting tools, grinding media, tungsten heavy alloys, electrical contacts, and heating elements.

Q: What precautions are needed when working with tungsten powder?

A: Tungsten powder poses explosion and inhalation risks requiring protective gear, ventilation, and inert gas glove boxes for storage and handling. Appropriate fire safety measures are essential.

Q: What are the different particle sizes available for pure tungsten powder?

A: Particle sizes range from 1-10 microns for ultrafine, 10-25 microns for fine, 25-45 microns for medium, and 45-150 microns for coarse fractions based on application requirements.

Q: Is pure tungsten powder more expensive than tungsten carbide?

A: Yes, pure tungsten powder costs 2-4 times higher than tungsten carbide powders. However, properties like higher density and electrical/thermal conductivity justify the added cost.

Q: What purity levels are commercially available?

A: Common purity levels are 99.9% (CP grade), 99.95% (RMP grade), 99.98% (SP grade), and 99.99% (EL grade) tungsten content. Higher purity further increases cost.

Q: Can pure tungsten powder be 3D printed?

A: Yes, high purity tungsten powders in the 10-45 micron range can be used for laser powder bed fusion and binder jetting additive manufacturing with proper parameter optimization.

Q: What post-processing steps are used for pure tungsten parts?

A: Sintered tungsten components are finished by grinding, lapping, polishing, and other methods to achieve tight dimensional and surface tolerance requirements.

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