Tungsten is one of the hardest metals in nature. It can be used in armor-piercing bullets, rocket engine nozzles and drill bits that can cut through concrete. This strength comes from the fact that tungsten has the highest melting point of any metal. But, while tungsten is very hard, it is not strong on its own. To get the strength needed for its many applications, tungsten is combined with other metals to create alloys.
Tungsten gets its chemical symbol, W, from the German name for the mineral wolframite, which is where the element was first discovered. It is also sometimes known by its English name, tungsten, although this name is often confused with the tungsten carbide it forms in combination with carbon.
To work with tungsten, you need specialized equipment. A propane or oxyacetylene torch will not do the job; you need to use a furnace that can reach high temperatures. The ideal choice is a high-temperature induction furnace that can reach temperatures of up to 6,100 degrees Fahrenheit. You will also need an inert atmosphere, such as argon or nitrogen, and protective gear, like heat-resistant gloves and face shield.
Tungsten can be melted at home, but you need to be careful and take safety into account. The temperatures required to melt tungsten can generate toxic fumes and cause explosions, so you must work in a well-ventilated area with protective equipment. You must also ensure that the area where you are working is well-insulated to prevent sparks and flying particles from igniting nearby objects.