Tantalum is a hard, blue-grey, transition metal that is rarely found in elemental form. It is a chemical element with the symbol Ta and an atomic number of 73. Tantalum was previously known as Tantalus after a greek mythological character. It is highly corrosion resistance and chemically inert making it sought after for use in technology such as cell phones, DVD players and computers. This article will outline the uses of tantalum in the world today.
Uses of Tantalum
The major use of Tantalum today is as a metal powder which is used the construction of electronic components. Tantalum powder is used to construct capacitors and, in some cases, resistors. Due to its natural properties tantalum allows capacitors to be made smaller and thinner. These capacitors are used in cell phones, personal computers and automotive electronics.
Tantalum is also used to create surface acoustic wave filters to improve the audio quality of cell phones and televisions.
Tantalum is used in the production of alloys particularly those with high melting points. These alloys are used in making carbide tools for metal working. Tantalum alloys are also used in the production of jet engine components and missiles as well as in nuclear reactors.
Tantalum is a used in the construction of surgical tools and implants due to it resistance to attack by bodily fluids. It is non-irritating, which makes it perfect for use in orthopedic implants, cranial repair plates and sutures. Tantalum capacitors are also used in medical devices such as hearing aids and pacemakers due to the low failure rate.
Tantalum is also used to construct vessels used in chemical reactions and in pipes. Tantalum is highly corrosion resistant meaning that almost any chemical, other than hydrofluoric acid or sulfuric acid, can be stored, mixed and transported in Tantalum vessels and pipes.
Coils used for heating hydrochloric acid are constructed from tantalum.
Tantalum is also used to create high refraction index glass for cameras lenses.
Military charges have also been constructed from tantalum as its high density and high melting point make it better able to penetrate armor.
Tantalum is sometimes used in the construction of expensive watches.