Tantalum Element Number 73 Ta 

 Pure 2" Tantalum crucible. These are used for crystal growing, chemical reactions and high heat applications. This one was made in 1969 in the USA and in unused condition. The Tantalum foil is wrinkled capacitor material.

Tantalum is a true refractory metal in the transition metal group.Tantalum is found directly below Niobium on the periodic table, and is related to Niobium in many ways in many ways. Tantalum is a lustrous grayish metal with high heat and corrosion resistance. The resistant nature of Tantalum make this metal ideal for applications in Chemical processing

Tantalum is always  found in ores bearing Niobium such as columbite and tantalite. Tantalum is difficult to process from ore, and involves several steps including separation from Niobium. Tantalum is difficult to grind, and welding needs to done in inert atmospheres.

the major use for Tantalum is capacitors, as Tantalum has amazing capacitance capabilities. Tantalum is also used in alloys that have high meting points and super strength. The resistance to corrosion from most acids and chemicals allows this element to be used in chemical plants, and under ocean pipelines. Tantalum has uses in nuclear reactors, jet engines space craft parts, and also missiles.

Tantalum is one of the metals used in body part implants. I knew a man who had a Tantalum plate in his skull.  Exotic body jewelry is made of Tantalum. I have heard  some impressive Tantalum stereo tweeters I am not sure how they work. I see some pricey watches made of Tantalum as well.

Tantalum isotope 181 has been considered as a nuclear "salt". This practice would increase the deadly radioactivity of a nuclear weapon fallout. The way it works is the Ta181 will convert to Ta182 with a 1.12MeV output of gamma and a half life of 114days. this makes more radioactive fallout  from the weapon. Like a nuclear weapon needs that sort of boost, right??

Tantalum has been an element of interest to me, as it is expensive and hard to obtain in a large piece. I had offers from Chinese suppliers for as little as 600$ a kilo plus shipping. I have over a pound of these salvaged Tantalum capacitor cores.

Pure Tantalum capacitor cores. These were placed in a rock tumbler for a few days to achieve the grey smooth finish. When these porous sintered pellets are salvaged they have beautiful anodized colors. 

Ta 73 metal AW:180.94788  D:16.69  MP:5463  BP:9856  Mohs:6.5 

Tungsten Element Number 74 W 

These heavy Tungsten electrodes are actually only 98% Tungsten. I am not exactly sure what these are used for, as they contain 2% Thorium, and are "hot". These are stored in a Lead lined container for good measure.  I felt these were my most interesting Tungsten samples, and choose these to use here.

Below are twisted Tungsten wire heater coil, and a 1920's Tungsten electrode spark plug, NOS ! 

W 74 metal  AW:183.84 D:19.25  MP:6192 (highest MP) BP:10031 Mohs:7.5  

Tungsten is an element with a symbol unrelated to its current name. This element has also been named Wolfram thus the symbol W. Tungsten holds the title of highest melting point, and highest tensile strength and lowest vapor pressure of any pure metal. Tungsten is easy to find. as it is used as filaments in incandescent light bulbs!

Tungsten has many useful applications, listing all of them would be consuming so a few are, Tungsten Carbide materials used in cutting tools and related items. Tungsten filaments for heaters and incandescent light bulbs.

 Tungsten is used as bucking bars, and rivet tools. Tungsten can be used as ballasts in auto racing, and pine box derby. Tungsten can be used in weapons for penetration of armor and also as shrapnel. Tungsten can be used as catalysts for coal fire plants, and also as scintillator material for radiation detectors. Tungsten is used as a lead replacement for bullets, sinker (fishing) and also x ray shields.

Tungsten electrodes can be used in the popular TIG welding. Electrodes can also be used to discharge electron beam devices, and in my case spark gaps for Tesla coils and discharge points of voltage multipliers and coils. Tungsten Thorium electrodes are used in welding, and a common Thorium sample for collectors.

Tungsten is used by some bacteria as enzyme material. Tungsten can be used as jewelry and similar to gold in density. One silly rumor of Tungsten plated with Gold is used by our own government, claiming it is impossible to field test without cutting into the bars. I guess they should hit the gold with a hammer, as Tungsten is super hard and Gold is really soft. I'm always amazed with some of the things I hear. Speaking of amazing stories, in 1913 a man held a patent for Tungsten, but this was overturned. Imagine patenting an element? I would pick nitrogen, and charge royalties for using the atmosphere.  LOL