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How To Machine Tantalum Metal

Views: 204 Update date: Mar 10,2016

In the machining process of tantalum cemented carbide tools with high cutting speeds is used. The tools must be kept grounded and sharp with a high positive rake to bear by the metal.


Tantalum is represented symbol Ta is a lustrous blue colored metal. It is a hard transition metal, rarely present in the Earth's crust. Tantalum is very hard, ductile and easily fabricated Metal.

Tantalum is used in the electronics or chemical industries for measuring devices and fittings. It is also a great conductor of electricity and heat. It shows excellent resistance to acids and hence also used in in the medical device industry. It shows the properties of corrosion resistance to acids. Occasional applications Tantalum is in jewelry and watch making industries. Hence its machining techniques are very essential. 

Most of the procedures in working and fabricating tantalum are conventional. These techniques require simple tools and technology and can be mastered without any difficulty. 

Method Used for Machining Tantalum: 
Generally lathe operations are utilized for machining tantalum. With this a cemented carbide tools such as VR/Wesson Grade 3A5, with high cutting speeds, are used. Tools should be sharp, and should be well grounded. This requires a strong positive scrape as the strength of the tool. 

A minimum speed of 100 surface feet per minute is employed during turning operations. Slower speeds causes the metal to tear and produce micro cracks on its surface. Recommended cutting medium is Perchloroethylene or trichloroethane. Tantalum is welded by resistance welding and inert gas, arc welding techniques. Resistance welding equipments, and methods are similar to general welding methods. Since tantalum is High-Density Metals its resistivity is only two-third to that of other metals, tantalum requires a high power input to achieve a perfect weld. 

Applications of Tantalum:

• The major use for tantalum, as tantalum metal powder, is in the production of electronic components, mainly tantalum capacitors. Major end uses for tantalum capacitors include mobile phones, pagers, personal computers, and automotive electronics.

• Tantalum is also used to produce a variety of alloys that have high melting points, are strong and have good ductility, such as superalloys for jet engine components. 

• Alloyed with other metals, tantalum is also used in making carbide tools for metalworking equipment.

• Tantalum is inert against most acids and is ideal for chemical reaction vessels and pipes for corrosive liquids.

• Other uses are in medical applications (surgical instruments and implants because it is immune to body fluids and tolerated by the body), the nuclear industry, glass lenses, vacuum furnaces, and in munitions.



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