Molybdenum is number 42 on the periodic table with a melting point of 2610 degrees C and a density of 10.22 gm/cc. Moly has many properties that make it an excellent candidate for fabricated parts and it’s the most commonly used refractory metal.

Molybdenum is the lamp industry standard for mandrels and supports, usually in wire form. Several unique properties of molybdenum that satisfy more demanding industry requirements have increased the use of molybdenum as a material in applications requiring other mill forms. Molybdenum is machinable and is fabricated into high temperature furnace hardware and lighting components.

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Tungsten is number 74 on the periodic table, in between tantalum and rhenium. Tungsten has the highest melting point (3410 degrees C) of the four common refractory metals. In addition, with a density of 19.3 gm/cc, it is only surpassed by rhenium and osmium in weight.

Tungsten has a long history of use for filaments in the lamp industry. It offers exceptionally high strength at very high temperatures. In fact, it has the best high-temperature strength of the four common refractory metals. Its high-temperature strength, combined with its good electrical resistivity have made it a popular choice for other applications in addition to filaments. Tungsten’s high density and strength are utilized in aircraft counterweights, radiation shielding, weapon systems, golf clubs, high temperature furnaces and rocket nozzles.

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Tantalum is number 73 on the periodic table. It has a melting point of 2996 degrees C and a density of 16.654 gm/cc. Tantalum is one of the refractory metals that offers a valuable combination of properties.

Tantalum is one of the most corrosion resistant metals available. It’s used in chemical reactors, medical implants and highly acidic environments. Tantalum and its alloys are midway between tungsten and molybdenum in density and melting points. Tantalum can be worked easily at room temperature. Its thermal conductivity is one-fourth that of molybdenum and its coefficient of expansion is one-third greater. Its elevated temperature strength is low compared with tungsten and molybdenum.

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Niobium, also known as Columbium, is number 41 on the periodic table. With a melting point of 2468 degrees C, it qualifies as a refractory metal. Niobium has a density of 8.57 gm/cc. It has many properties that make it an excellent candidate for fabricated parts that must be made of a refractory metal. Niobium offers good ductility and weld-ability under a clean, dry inert gas or a vacuum.

Niobium can be found in electrolytic capacitors, superconductor alloys, gas tubings, vacuum tubes and nuclear reactors.

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