Scrap Tungsten Market Sees Few Deals

The mainstream scrap tungsten price maintains steady. The transaction price excluding tax of bit concentrates on ¥187.00-¥191.00/kg, domestic blade is ¥172.00-¥176.00/kg, imported blade is ¥182-186/kg; scrap pure tungsten block is ¥208.00-¥213.00/kg.

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Tungsten Concentrate Market Seems to Show its Downward Trend Again

Domestic tungsten concentrate shows its weak trend constantly by 17th Dec. Mainstream prices of tungsten concentrate with more then 60% tungsten focus on ¥116,000.00-118,000.00/mt currently. Tungsten concentrate market is confronted “high price with low demand” situation now, while the enquiry from end-users sees few. As to tungsten ore, miners drastically drop the output; many investors choose to put their emphasis on the market of 2013.

Chinatungsten Online analyzes, low demand of end-users leads to weak driving force of tungsten prices rising. High purchasing cost results in low transaction volume which also has negative impact on tungsten prices. Recently, high-level prices of tungsten does not adapt to the market, thereby the price range of tungsten ore becomes narrow. Chinatungsten Online forecasts that tungsten concentrate market keeps steady and weak, tungsten concentrate prices go down again.

Why Your Next ring Should be Tungsten Carbide

 

Tungsten carbide rings are twice as hard as steel, four times harder than titanium and virtually unscratchable. For decades tungsten carbide has been used in mining, aerospace, and other industries that have required a metal that is extremely hard and long lasting. Watch makers were the first to begin using tungsten carbide in jewelry, making watch bands that would never scratch. Since then tungsten carbide has emerged as a serious competitor in the ring industry due to its resilience, strength, and beauty. 

All of our rings are 89% Tungsten Carbide, 10% Nickel, and 1% Chromium. We do not use any Cobalt in our rings. We use a nickel-binder alloy NOT a cobalt-binder alloy.

Cobalt-binder is very common because it is more readily available and substantially cheaper than nickel-binder. While in manufacturing processes this may be a fine substitute, in jewelry substituting cobalt for nickel can produce adverse effects, our rings are hypo-allergenic. Cobalt can have adverse effects on skin and is subject to oxidation similar to silver but cannot be removed by polishing or grinding. Nickel-binder carbide is completely safe and chemically inert and will never oxidize. Many other companies will claim to have 'Tungsten Carbide' rings that sell very cheap, but will not disclose their elements. Others will only use Tungsten (see tungsten vs. titanium below).
While we do not recommend intentionally trying to damage your ring, tungsten carbide can endure a lot of abuse. Tungsten carbide rings are an 8.5-9.5 on the mohs scale. This means that the only way to scratch a tungsten carbide ring is to polish the ring with carborundum or grind it with a diamond grade abrasive. Under normal conditions our rings will never scratch or lose their mirror like polish, in some rare instances rings may develop small micro-scratches that are faintly visible but do not diminish from the rings polish or look, if this does happen again, we will gladly exchange your ring for a new one. What does this mean? Whether working in the shop, outside, in the office, or on the mountain you can wear your ring without ever having to worry about scratching or damaging it. If you are curious try rubbing your tungsten ring on a file, if it scratches it is not tungsten carbide, if it does not scratch, it is tungsten carbide. Our rings will not scratch.

Tungsten Carbide vs. Titanium

Titanium rings look great new, and usually are less expensive. It is very common for people to mistakenly believe that the two metals are either the same thing or equal. Titanium is a strong metal but not resilient like tungsten carbide. Over time titanium rings will scratch and lose their polish thus needing to be refinished. Tungsten alone (not tungsten carbide) is also much like titanium. Without the carbide it does not gain its extreme hardness and durability. Only when tungsten is combined with a carbon alloy is it transformed into tungsten carbide, the strongest of all metals. Tungsten carbide is also a heavier metal than titanium which is very lightweight, making it more durable and better looking.

Tungsten Carbide vs. Gold & Platinum

Traditionally gold or platinum were the only choices that people would consider when buying a wedding band, or any ring that symbolized something important. Tungsten carbide has become a worthy substitute to these precious metals due to it's brilliant forever lasting mirror like polish and resilient finish. Gold and platinum rings are also very brilliant but fade quickly and scratch very easy, over time gold and platinum can also begin to warp causing the ring to become "untrue" (not round). This nasty little side effect often is the culprit behind people not being able to remove their wedding bands and needing to have them cut off. Tungsten carbide rings can be easily removed in an emergency by a skilled professional just as easy if not easier than gold rings.

[Knowledge of Tungsten] Tungsten Industry

 

Overall Industry Structure:  The tungsten industry may be considered to comprise three principal divisions:

Primary Tungsten Producers – the mines which mine and carry out primary mineral processing to produce tungsten mineral concentrates

Secondary Tungsten Processors – the processing plants which take the mineral concentrates and process them into a number of tungsten powders, including ammonium paratungstate (APT), suitable for use in downstream metal/alloy manufacturing.  These powders are often referred to as “intermediates”

Tertiary Tungsten Product Manufacturers – the plants which produce finished tungsten metal, tungsten alloys, tungsten tools and other tungsten end products.

Traditionally there has been some degree of vertical integration within the industry, with some common ownership of secondary processing and tertiary manufacturing facilities, but this integration rarely extended upstream to the primary producers, the miners. However, the expansion of the Chinese economy and the demand for tungsten has, apparently, resulted in considerable vertical integration in the tungsten industry in China, whether through common ownership or contractual arrangements, with a move away from exports of concentrates and into downstream processing and manufacturing. This pressure towards vertical integration within China and an apparent desire to secure long term concentrate supply, has resulted in various large Chinese companies investing in Western tungsten projects. This activity in China has started to affect the industry outside China, with a number of strategic mergers, acquisitions and investment within the Western tungsten industry over the last two years. 

Tungsten Products:  The usages of tungsten result in an industry structured to produce various categories of products:

Approximately 50% of tungsten is used in the production of hardmetals, or cemented carbides; these are cutting, drilling and wear materials formed from tungsten carbides and cobalt, and occasionally other minor metals such as titanium, tantalum and niobium

Some 17% of tungsten is used to produce specialist steel alloys, such as high speed steel, heat resistant steel and tool steels, all largely utilised in metal cutting applications and specialist engineering applications

In the region of 15% of tungsten would be used to make “mill products”; the mill products would comprise tungsten rod, sheet and wire, electrical contacts, etc…

The balancing 18% of tungsten is used by the chemical industry and in other specialist applications.

World Tungsten Metal Production:  The total yearly tonnage of mine tungsten metal production is very small relative to base metals, the more recent estimates being:

83,000t  of primary tungsten metal (W) production – equivalent to 105,000t of tungsten trioxide, WO3 (79.3% W)

The breakdown of this production would be circa:

70,000t/ year W from Chinese mines  -  of the order of 84% of World production

7,000t /year W from Western orientated economies  -  circa 9%

6,000t/year W from other communist or CIS countries  -  circa 7%

Tungsten Pricing:  Prices for tungsten concentrates produced by mines and the intermediate tungsten powers produced by the secondary processors are quoted in metric tonne units (mtu). An mtu consists of 10kg of WO3, as contained within the particular material in question, concentrates or APT (this relationship conveniently results in the fact that a 1% resource grade equates to 1 mtu). The two materials for which prices are quoted widely and reported in mtu of WO3 are:

tungsten trioxide, WO3, (containing 79.3% tungsten metal), as the critical constituent in the minerals in mine concentrates

ammonium paratungstate, APT, the main secondary downstream product made from concentrates.

[Knowledge of Tungsten] Tungsten Metal and Uses

 

Tungsten Metal (W):  From a mining and metal industry perspective, tungsten falls into a loose grouping of around 20 metals termed the minor metals (the other metal groupings being; the precious metals, the base metals and the platinum group metals (PGMs)).  Tungsten is unique in having a combination of relatively extreme properties compared to other metals; its properties include:

a very high melting point, 3422°C (5700°C, boiling)  -  highest melting point of all metals

a very dense, heavy metal, 19.25 g/cm2

an extremely strong, wear resistant metal; has a hardness close to that of diamonds - highest modulus of elasticity and highest tensile strength of all metals

a thermally and chemically stable metal, with high thermal conductivity - lowest coefficient of expansion of the metals

a high electrical conductivity

a relatively inert metal which does not oxidise readily, is extremely corrosive resistant and relatively acid resistant and is deemed environmentally benign.

Tungsten Uses:  As a consequence of tungsten metal’s properties, tungsten alloys are used in various application areas:

Tungsten, due to its hardness and ability to withstand heat, is very suitable as a critical component of cutting tools used to drill or cut other metals, concrete or rock (e.g. household drill bits, metal fabrication tools, dentists tools, etc..)

These attributes also make tungsten alloys suitable for critical temperature sensitive and wear resistant machinery components (e.g. engine valves, ball-point pen tips, turbine blades, snow tyre studs)

These wear and temperature resistant properties, in combination with tungsten’s electrical conductivity, also make tungsten ideal as a critical temperature resistant component in electronics and as a contact point in electrical circuits (e.g. LCD panels, TV tubes, laser printers, window heating wires, car horns, electrical switch gear)

Tungsten’s high density properties also make it suitable as a weight or counterbalance in specific machinery applications (airplane flaps, mobile phone vibration systems, crankcase balancing weights, golf clubs and as an environmentally acceptable substitute for lead shot in cartridges).

[Knowledge of Tungsten] Tungsten Mineralization

 

Tungsten Minerals: The only two tungsten minerals of any importance are two tungstates or oxides, their relative values being determined by the measure used to determine mine ore grades and mine concentrate grades, i.e. the tungsten trioxide or WO3, content:

Scheelite, a calcium tungsten oxide, CaWO4  -  contains 80.5% WO3

Wolframite, an iron-manganese tungsten oxide, (Fe, Mn)WO4  -  the iron rich variety, called Ferberite, contains 76.3% WO3; the manganese rich variety is termed Hubnerite and contains 76.6% WO3

Tungsten Deposits: Tungsten principally occurs in four main geological settings, as:

Skarn deposits - where granites are intruded into limestones

Vein deposits - in quartz veins adjacent to granites, as a series of larger separate veins

Sheeted vein deposits - as multiple, narrow, closely spaced, quartz veins forming large sheeted vein systems within and adjacent to granites

Pegmatites - very coarse segregations/concentrations of specific minerals at the margins of granites

Metals and Minerals Associated with Tungsten: Tungsten mineralisation is frequently associated with minor quantities of sulphides, usually iron sulphides, but occasionally with economic quantities of copper sulphides; it may also have specific associations with other potentially economic minerals:

Tungsten and tin in vein and sheeted vein deposits

Tungsten and gold in sheeted vein deposits

Tungsten and magnetite in skarn deposits

Tungsten and molybdenum in skarn deposits

Tungsten and lithium, tantalum, niobium and tin in pegmatite deposits

[Knowledge of Tungsten] Overview of Tungsten

Tungsten is a metal with unique properties making it an essential component in many industrial applications. Critical properties include - very high melting point, very high density, hardness close to diamond, thermally and chemically stable, excellent conductor, and environmentally benign.

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Ammonium Paratungstate (APT) Prices Likely to Rise in 2013; Friction Remains between Europe and Asia

Ammonium paratungstate (APT) prices should begin to rise in 2013, which is noted by Brian Wesson, ceo and president of tungsten junior miner Woulfe Mining.

There has been mounting tension between some sellers in Europe and China, as the only concluded business has been coming into Europe at lower and lower numbers, while Chinese market participants have begun refusing to sell below about $340.00/mtu. APT prices from mainstream website currently stands at $280.00-310.00/mtu, after weeks of almost non-existent trading, in which only small parcels were sold. 
“The long-term price will be about $300.00-330.00/mtu. We will see it getting higher,” Wesson said.
“It backed off mostly because of a bit of softening in China, but everybody believes China will move back into a big growth phase,” he added.
Tungsten prices, in general, have been resilient during the most recent financial crisis, according to Wesson, as the material has remained in relatively high demand from the steelmaking industry.
However, the market has been particularly illiquid in recent months, as buyers hold back on macroeconomic uncertainty, exports from China diminish, and sellers wait for some improvement.
“[China] put an export tax on it and with most business coming out of China, that made it very, very difficult,” Wesson said.
“They’ve been using more and more [APT], and I think they’re going to become a net importer of tungsten. That leaves a big gap in the Western world,” he added.
This gap should be supportive of prices, furthermore, as a lack of supply will allow sellers in Europe to push levels up.
“We still believe the outlook for tungsten is very strong. [There was a report] that gave us a prediction for $390.00/mtu. If you don’t have tungsten, you can’t [replace it],” Wesson said.
“There has been a lot of friction in the market,” he added. “But people still used tungsten when we had the financial crisis and the price was quite steady.”
Wesson is also expecting stimulus in China, coupled with structural issues at tungsten mines, to be supportive of the price.
Furthermore, excluding Woulfe Mining, which will begin production in about 12 months, there is very little new supply coming on-stream.
“There are very few new players [apart from us]. We’re ready to start mining ore – we just need to build the processing plant,” Wesson said.
In the meantime, however, the friction between participants in China and Europe is likely to continue until the first quarter of next year and possibly beyond, as new business has yet to be concluded at levels above Metal Bulletin’s range.

Cost Effective Tungsten Alloy for Protection against X-rays and Gamma Radiation

Whether in the world of medical or industrial X-ray technology, radiotherapy or nuclear power stations: Wherever high-energy radiation is used, it is vital to protect people against it.

The denser the material, the better able it is to protect from radiation. That is why heavy elements absorb X-rays and gamma radiation particularly well. Lead is still the most frequently used shielding material. Because it is a very soft material, it is mostly used only in combination with support structures made of steel.DENSIMET container

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Tungsten carbide rings is the new black -- surprise him with a strong gift

 

With the holidays here, it will soon be time to start the challenging process of finding the perfect gift for the man in your life. Why not a gift that captures your special guys' strength and power, with a bold sense of adventure?

If you miss Christmas, something surprising in the New Year would also be welcome.

In the past, typically men's rings were made from the same material that women's rings were made from. Gold, silver and platinum were all great options for men. However, changes in taste and lifestyle have brought other materials for mens' rings to the forefront, chiefly among them tungsten carbide rings.

Tungsten carbide has been to space, is used in industry and has applications in the aerospace and military arenas, making it that much more desirable for the modern male to have on his finger. They have a futuristic aura. For the man in your life lucky enough to receive one from you, it gives him unique freedom to express his individuality.

Tungsten is a very hard, dense metal, possessing the highest melting point of all metals - 6,100 degrees Fahrenheit. However, by itself tungsten is very susceptible to scratching and other damage. When combined with a carbon alloy, it gains a hardness of 8.5 to 9.5 on the Mohs scale, making it optimal for use in industry as well.

Due to their extreme hardness and always polished appearance, tungsten carbide rings make a great gift for the man in your life. Because of their hardness, the ring will never be scratched. And unlike titanium rings, which are also hot on the men's jewelry market now, a tungsten carbide ring cannot be bent out of shape.

One drawback to all this damage resistance, however, in that tungsten carbide rings are almost impossible to resize. For this reason, if the ring is to be a gift, make sure you select the right size.

When selecting a tungsten ring for the man on your list, make sure to select a cobalt-free ring. Some cheaper tungsten carbide rings use this alloy in the production process. Cobalt can be combined with tungsten much easier, making for a cheaper production process. However, the cobalt can react with the oils in your skin and develop permanent oxidation damage that cannot be removed.

For a gift as strong and powerful as the special man you are selecting it for - tungsten carbide stands the test of time. 

 

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