National Minerals Information Center

Tungsten Statistics and Information

Tungsten (W) is a metal with a wide range of uses, the largest of which is as tungsten carbide in cemented carbides.   Cemented carbides (also called hardmetals) are wear-resistant materials used by the metalworking, mining, and construction industries.  Tungsten metal wires, electrodes, and/or contacts are used in lighting, electronic, electrical, heating, and welding applications.  Tungsten is also used to make heavy metal alloys for armaments, heat sinks, and high-density applications, such as weights and counterweights; superalloys for turbine blades; tool steels; and wear-resistant alloy parts and coatings.  Tungsten composites are used as a substitute for lead in bullets and shot.  Tungsten chemical compounds are used in catalysts, inorganic pigments, and high-temperature lubricants.

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Kim Shedd

Mineral Commodity Specialist
National Minerals Information Center
Phone: 703-648-4974