The chemical element tantalum
Tantalum belongs to the rare elements of the earth. On the one hand it has a very high density of 16.6 g/cm, on the other hand it has the fourth highest melting point of all metals with 2,996 °C. The platinum-grey metal is twice as dense as steel and even at high temperatures it is highly ductile (flexible/deformable), very hard and conducts heat and electricity well.
Key product for numerous applications
Tantalum is often used in the manufacture of high performance and very compact capacitors because it has the ability to produce an extremely thin, voltage resistant and at the same time fully protective oxide layer. It has exceptional corrosion resistance for pure metals and is only corroded by hydrofluoric acid when cold. Tantalum is also used in the aerospace and energy industries, mainly in alloys, due to its heat resistance enhancing properties. In medical technology, it is used as a radiographic contrast agent or for the manufacture of implants and bone substitutes.
Tantalum and niobium carbide are also used in the production of carbide-containing tools (cermets) to increase their durability and performance.