Tantalum (Ta) is an essential element for various sectors in the modern electronics market. One of the rarest elements on earth, tantalum is used in enormous quantities in both pure and alloy forms. Alloys, such as tantalum-3wt%tungsten (Ta3W), are important due to their higher strength and superior corrosion resistance compared to pure tantalum. Tantalum subsequently offers limitless material potential and tangible results in challenging markets.
H.C. Starck Solutions was built on a foundation of materials expertise, specializing in technical engineering materials like pure tantalum and tantalum alloys.
Properties of Tantalum
Tantalum is an extremely rare transition metal that has a lustrous grey finish, similar in tone to platinum. Its discovery in 1802 was challenged by contemporary chemists who claimed it was not a new element but was an allotrope of niobium. The two are almost chemically-identical and are still difficult to distinguish from one another today. In a wide range of industrial acids and liquids, tantalum is the most corrosion resistant metal available with corrosion resistance comparable to glass in many acids.
With a density of 16.6 g/cm3, tantalum is twice as dense as steel with a Mohs hardness of approximately 6. This is despite high ductility at room and elevated temperatures and an exceedingly high melting point of 2996°C (5425°F) – the fourth highest of all known metals.
Tantalum’s Applications and Manufacturing
The incredible intersection of mechanical, thermodynamic, and electrical properties makes tantalum and its alloys uniquely suited for component manufacturing via a broad range of production methods, including:
- Additive manufacturing
- Electron beam melting
- Hot and cold rolling
- Rotary forging
These techniques have successfully unlocked the potential of tantalum, opening the material to a plethora of electronic and industrial markets. H.C. Starck Solutions is the ideal partner to assist with the application of ready-made and proprietary parts using pure tantalum and tantalum alloys. Contact the team today, to find out more.