According to the US Geological Survey tungsten is a strategic mineral that is “essential to the economic and national security of the United States.” The text of the report can be found here. Forbes magazine’s story on the topic found here might be easier to read.
Many industries use tungsten as a critical material. Some examples are
Energy – Oil and gas exploration and production use tungsten. Diamond drill bits often contain tungsten carbide. Different forms of tungsten are catalysts in chemical reactions for petroleum. Hydraulic fracking in gas wells use tungsten in shaped charges. The production of nuclear powder uses tungsten for radiation shielding.
Defense – Armor piercing munitions use tungsten. It is a critical material that is essential to our national defense.
Tungsten Carbide Thermal Spray Coatings – Turbines, shafts and propellers use thermal spray powder coatings to extend their service life. These materials also rebuild parts back to their original specifications. Tungsten carbide based powders have a high hardness and extend the wear life.
Telecommunications and electronics also rely upon tungsten. Cellular telephones use tungsten as a counterweight to help it vibrate. Heat sinks and contacts also utilize tungsten.
Diversify Supply of Critical Materials
Tungsten is a critical material to make products in many industries. China currently produces 75 – 80% of the tungsten used in the world. Buffalo Tungsten has good relationships with Chinese suppliers. We have also cultivated a diversity in our supply chain. This limits our dependence on any one area of the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of a diverse supply.
Buffalo Tungsten manufactures tungsten powder materials in the United States. Our materials serve the needs of manufacturers in many industries. Buffalo Tungsten has remained open during the COVID-19 outbreak because tungsten is a strategic mineral. In order to supply the needs of manufacturers of many essential products we have continued operations with social distancing and sanitizing practices in place.