In 2005 the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry decided to use the term tungsten instead of wolfram; but "W" remains the chemical symbol of the element.
Tungsten makes an important contribution, through its use in cemented carbide and high speed steel tools, to the achievement of high productivity levels in industries on which the world’s economic well-being depend. It is used in Lighting Technology, Electronics, Power Engineering, Coating and Joining Technology, the Automotive and Aerospace Industries, Medical Technology, the generation of High Temperatures, the Tooling Industry (as WC) and even in Sports and Jewellery.
In the household, tungsten is used in light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, “energy savers”, HID lamps, cell phones, television sets, magnetrons for microwave ovens and other electrical consumer products. It is used for wall drilling, tile cutting, circular knifes, and for the small balls of the ballpoint pen.
Only recently has it become generally known that tungsten bacteria and enzymes have played an important role in the early stages of earth’s history when these organisms have contributed to the nitrogen fixing ability in plants. More details about Tungsten in Life and Medicine can be found on our newsletter - December 2010.