Tantalum was discovered in 1802 by chemist from Sweden Andres Gustav Ekeberg. But in metallic form was obtained only in 1903 by German scientist Werner von Bolton.

General characteristics

Tantalum is gray-steel alloy with luish tint that does not react in air at ordinary temperature. The oxidation process begins only after reaching temperature of 200−300 °C, and formation of Ta2O5 oxide occurs with rapid oxidation at temperatures above 500 °C. In addition, tantalum has next characteristics:

  • Absorbs gases (hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen);
  • Resistant to hydrochloric, sulfuric, phosphoric, nitric and organic acids at temperatures up to 100−150°С;
  • Melting point 3017 °C;
  • Boiling occurs at 5458 °C;
  • Density of metal is 16.65 g/cm³.

With these properties, tantalum is characterized by wide range of using.

Application area

From beginning of obtaining plastic metal condition, tantalum began to used in manufacture of incandescent lamps. Today number of metal uses has increased. Among them:

  • Metallurgy;
  • Chemical industry;
  • Nuclear energy;
  • Medicine (surgery in particular);
  • Creation of computer technology;
  • Military affairs (production of armor-piercing ammunition);
  • Jewelry;
  • Aerospace industry, etc.

Among areas of use it’s also worth noting such sphere as numismatics. For example, Kazakhstan since 2006 began to produce commemorative bimetallic coins in denominations of 100 and 500 tenge.

In metal market-place, tantalum and its alloys are purchased in form of sheets, ingots, rods and other products convenient for use.

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Mass units

Kilogram (kg) Metric ton (mt) Pound (lb)
1 000 1 2 200.62
1 0.001 2.20
0.4536   1