What is the Most Refractory Material in the World?



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When it comes to the world’s highest melting point or the most refractory material, many people jump the gun and say “Tungsten.” But I want to tell you that this answer is only half true. As we all know, tungsten is a pure metal with the highest melting point in the world, but the most refractory material in the world is not tungsten, which is a kind of hafnium carbide and nitride.

Russian researchers have synthesized a powder mixture by pulsed flame sintering under extreme conditions. The material, which consists mainly of hafnium carbide and nitride, has a melting point of 4126.85℃, two-thirds the temperature of the Sun. The hafnium carbides and nitrides have by far the highest melting points in the world. Such high-temperature-resistant materials will be mainly used in defense and military industry, aerospace, electronic information, energy, chemical defense, metallurgy and nuclear industry and other cutting-edge fields, with a good application prospect. Currently, the researchers are studying the synthesis of the material and the process of solid phase transition, which is expected to be used in the near future.

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The world’s most refractory material is in the research, and let’s focus on the one that is actually used in life. Among all pure metals, tungsten has a maximum melting point of 3417±10℃. It is a steel-gray or silver-white metal with very strong physical characteristics. It not only has the highest melting point among all non-alloy metals, but also has high density, good high-temperature strength, and corrosion resistance.

Because of its excellent special properties, tungsten is widely used in mining, metallurgy, machinery, construction, transportation, electronics, chemical industry, light industry, textile, military industry, aerospace, science and technology, and other fields. Tungsten was used in electrical and electronic equipment. It was first and most commonly used as the tungsten filament in light bulbs, as well as in X-ray tubes and superalloys; tungsten rod is used as thermal conductors, welding electrodes, headpieces for the industries of quartz, stirring bars for smelting, heavy hammers, fasteners, etc.; tungsten crucibles have been widely used in technologies for growing single crystals from molten corundum, as well as in electronics and technologies for thermal vaporization – deposition of various substances; tungsten counterweight parts help to reduce the loads that parts are exposed to and consequently increase their service life.

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Tungsten is an important strategic metal and basic material for the military industry. The most prominent application of tungsten is in a variety of high-speed munitions, such as bullets, armor-piercing bullets, warheads, grenades, and artillery and tank guns. The high density of tungsten increases the penetrability and power of the missile, and it is not radioactive, so it is the ideal armor-piercing material.

Advanced Refractory Metals is a leading supplier of Tungsten products. We offer low pricing and great lead times on all our materials, and we’re capable of supplying custom materials per any specs/drawings you provide us with. Please visit https://www.refractorymetal.org for more information.

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