Material Properties of Tungsten

Tungsten metal powder is used to make ordnance for the military. Tungsten has a high density (19.25g/cm3) and high hardness. The melting point of tungsten is also very high at 3,422°C (6,191°F), making it a good choice for high temperatures as well.

The BBC’s article titled “Tungsten: The perfect metal for bullets and missiles” explains why tungsten powder is a great choice for ordnance (in a round about way).

Dives Versus Belly Flops

Bunker busting ordnance made from tungsten powder penetrates underground shelters. This ordnance needs to be very heavy but it helps to have a small surface area. With tungsten you can have the same weight in a smaller package. Think of the difference between a belly flop and a dive to get into the water. The tungsten allows the bomb to dive into the ground and penetrate further. Less dense materials belly flop and don’t go as deep.

Armor piercing rounds typically use a tungsten core. The Firearm Blog describes armor piercing rounds made for the US military. The rounds need to have the same size to fit the barrel of the weapon. The tungsten core provides a more stable center that improves its effectiveness.

Tungsten Heavy Metal in Ordnance

Tungsten heavy metal powders are often used to make ordnance. This type of tungsten powder contains binder materials such as nickel or iron. These alloys make it more machinable. Without these alloys tungsten is brittle and difficult to work with. Grinding shapes the solid heavy alloy parts into finished projectiles.

A less conventional form of ordnance using tungsten powder that has been studied is kinetic bombardment with large tungsten rods. Business Insider discussed the potential of dropping tungsten rods dropped from space. These kinetic energy penetrators would destroy everything in their path. They would not release radiation that would harm nearby areas.

Tungsten Powder Supplier

Buffalo Tungsten provides tungsten powder for ordnance applications. All of our material is made in America. We are a small business for United States federal contracting purposes. Our co-reduced powders are an engineered powder. They contain nickel, iron, copper or other alloys. This makes heavy metal easier to process. Ordinance of different types use other types of powder. If you use tungsten powders to produce ordnance Buffalo Tungsten can supply your needs.