chemical element with symbol W and atomic number 74

Tungsten (sometimes named wolfram) is a chemical element on the periodic table. It has the chemical symbol W and it has the atomic number 74. It is a steel-gray to white colored metal. Tungsten’s electron shell formula is: 2, 8, 18, 32, 12, 2. In chemistry, it is placed in a group of metal elements named the transition metals. Tungsten is found in several ores, including wolframite and scheelite.

Granules of tungsten in a glass vial.

Tungsten has a higher melting point than any other non-alloy that exists. The pure form (only tungsten) is mainly used in electrical equipment. Its compounds and alloys are used for many things, the most well known being its use in electrical filaments for light bulbs. It is also used in the filament and target in most X-ray tubes, superalloys, and in glass-to-metal seals.

Tungsten's density and hardness have many uses. In the military, for example, tungsten has been used in armor-piercing artillery. It is also used in machine tools.

Tungsten's density is almost the same as gold. Gold-plated tungsten ingots have been fraudulently passed off as solid gold.