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: a hard metal that is used to make the thin wire in light bulbs and to harden other metals (such as steel)
Full Definition of TUNGSTEN
: a gray-white heavy high-melting ductile hard polyvalent metallic element that resembles chromium and molybdenum in many of its properties and is used especially in carbide materials and electrical components (as lamp filaments) and in hardening alloys (as steel) — see element table
: a gray-white heavy high-melting ductile hard polyvalent metallic element that resembles chromium and molybdenum in many of its properties and is used especially for electrical purposes and in hardening alloys (as steel)—symbol W; called also wolfram; see element table
Metallic chemical element, one of the transition elements, chemical symbol W, atomic number 74. Exceptionally strong, white to grayish, and brittle, it has the highest melting point (6,170 °F [3,410 °C]), greatest high-temperature strength, and lowest thermal expansion coefficient of any metal. Its chief uses are in steels to increase hardness and strength and in lightbulb filaments (seeincandescent lamp). It is also used in electrical contacts, rocket nozzles, chemical apparatus, high-speed rotors, and solar-energy devices. Tungsten is relatively inert, but compounds (in which it has various valences) are known. The most important, tungsten carbide, noted for its hardness, is used to increase the wear-resistance of cast iron and of tools' cutting edges.