Is Tantalum Worth More Than Gold?

Why is tantalum so valuable?

The most valuable of metal worth materials is not gold or platinum like you might expect, but a metal you’ve possibly never heard of: tantalum.

There’s a good reason for this.

tantalum

The rarest stable element- Tantalum

As you know, Tantalum is the rarest stable element in our entire solar system, with just one atom of tantalum for every 181 billion atoms of other elements.

Tantalum is a lithophile element with chalcophile affinities. Tantalum is almost exclusively found in complex oxide and hydroxide minerals, with the exception of the borate mineral behierite and the only known non-oxide, tantalum carbide TaC.

Common Ta minerals include tantalite (Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)2O6, formanite YTaO4, and mikrolithe. Tantalum is nearly always found in association with Nb. The most common host minerals for Ta in igneous rock types include pyroxene, amphibole, biotite, ilmenite, and sphene.

Excellent characteristics- Tantalum

Tantalum has a series of excellent characteristics such as a high melting point, low vapor pressure, good cold processing performance, high chemical stability, strong resistance to liquid metal and acid and alkali corrosion, and large dielectric constant of the surface oxide film, which makes it an important modern functional material.

Extremely good corrosion resistance – Tantalum

Tantalum rapidly generates a surface oxide film that closely covers its metallic substrate in almost any environment, which is extremely thin and dense, impervious to almost all media, and self-healing once damaged. Thanks to this excellent protective film, tantalum has extremely good corrosion resistance. Except for fluorine, hydrofluoric acid, acidic solutions containing fluorine ions, fuming nitric acid, and strong alkalis, tantalum is impervious to corrosion in most media.

Wide Applications – Tantalum

With its combination of specific physical and chemical properties, tantalum is an important product in many applications:

tantalum applications
Tantalum features a high degree of biocompatibility. For this reason, it is used in medical technology as a radiographic contrast agent and in the production of bone replacement material and implants.
• In the aerospace and energy industries, tantalum increases the corrosion resistance of alloys in turbine blades.
• Tantalum’s chemical corrosion and high-temperature resistance properties provide many benefits to the chemical process industry. For this reason, tantalum is used in the production of reactor coatings, heat exchangers, and pipelines
• Its ability to form an extremely thin oxide coating which provides a protection layer, makes tantalum the material of choice in the production of small, high-quality capacitors

In conclusion

We use our “unyielding” material – Tantalum, for example, tantalum foil, and tantalum powder, are used to produce heat exchangers for the equipment construction sector, charge carriers for furnace construction, implants for medical technology, and capacitor components for the electronics industry.

What are 8 Uses for Tantalum?

Niobium vs. Tantalum

Due to their similar properties as functional and structural materials, niobium and tantalum have common areas of application or in most cases can be substituted for each other. In practice, however, the main areas of application and usage vary considerably due to differences in resources and properties. Niobium is abundant and is produced and consumed in large quantities; tantalum is less abundant and is produced and consumed in small quantities.

ta powder

Chemical properties of tantalum

Tantalum has excellent chemical properties and is extremely resistant to corrosion, not reacting to hydrochloric acid, concentrated nitric acid, or “aqua regia”, both under cold and hot conditions. However, tantalum can be corroded in hot concentrated sulfuric acid. Below 150°C, tantalum will not be corroded by concentrated sulfuric acid, but will only react above this temperature.

In 175 degrees in concentrated sulfuric acid for 1 year, the thickness of the corrosion is 0.0004 mm, tantalum into 200 degrees in the sulfuric acid soaked for a year, the surface layer is only damaged 0.006 mm. At 250 degrees Celsius, the corrosion rate increases to 0.116 mm per year.

At 300 degrees, the rate of corrosion is accelerated, soaking 1 year, the surface was corroded 1.368 mm. In fuming sulfuric acid, the corrosion rate is more severe than in concentrated sulfuric acid, and the surface is corroded to a thickness of 15.6 mm after 1 year of immersion in the solution at 130 degrees.

Tantalum uses and applications

  1. Electronic industry:

The dense oxide film formed on the surface of tantalum metal has the one-way conductivity of valve metal, which is suitable for making capacitors with high reliability and long life and is widely used in military equipment and high-tech fields such as missiles, radar, TV, electronic computers, cell phones, etc. In 2000, 24 billion tantalum capacitors were produced worldwide.

  1. Steel industry:

85% ~ 90% of the world’s niobium is used in steel production in the form of Ferro niobium. It is the leading micro-alloying element for niobium steel. When 0.1% of the alloying element is added, the yield strength of steel (N/mm2) increases as follows: niobium 118, vanadium 71.5, molybdenum 40, manganese 17.5, titanium 0. In fact, only 0.03% ~ 0.05% of Nb increases the yield strength of steel by more than 30%. As an alloying element, niobium is mainly used in the production of stainless steel and high strength low alloy steel (HSLA), which is widely used in oil transportation, gas pipelines, the automotive industry, shipbuilding, railroad transportation, construction industry, heavy machinery, and port construction.

  1. Atomic energy industry:

Niobium has the advantages of high melting point, corrosion resistance, and relatively small thermal neutron capture cross-section, suitable for the manufacture of reactor uranium heating elements of the cladding tube and superheater.

  1. Petroleum and chemical industries:

Niobium and tantalum have high corrosion resistance, good strength and processing plasticity and are excellent structural materials for chemical equipment. Used in the production of inorganic acids (nitric acid, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid), petroleum refining, and other equipment.

  1. aerospace air industry:

Niobium-tantalum thermal strength alloy has good thermal strength, heat resistance and processing properties, widely used in the manufacture of aerospace air engine parts and gas turbine blades. In the United States, almost all the thermal parts of jet fighter engines are made of niobium alloys.

  1. Cemented carbide:

Tantalum carbide is an important additive to cemented carbide, and its hardness is second only to diamond. Tantalum carbide is widely used in machining, the automotive industry, petroleum, and geological drilling tools, etc.

  1. Superconducting materials:

Some niobium alloys and compounds have high superconducting transition temperatures and are used in the manufacture of various industrial superconductors, such as superconducting generators, gas pedal high-power magnets, superconducting magnetic energy storage devices, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging equipment, etc.

  1. Medical field:

Tantalum and niobium have good biocompatibility and physiological corrosion resistance. Medical tantalum and niobium are used in the manufacture of bone plates, cranial plate screws, implant roots, surgical instruments, etc.

Is Niobium Similar to Tantalum?

The answer is YES.

uses of tantalum niobium

Tantalum and niobium are inseparable in nature, why can’t they be used as a beautiful symbol of love?

Niobium and tantalum are in the same group in the periodic table and have very similar physical and chemical properties. They are often “inseparable” in nature, like a pair of “twin brothers”.

When niobium and tantalum were discovered in the early 19th century, they were thought to be one element, and it was only after about 42 years that they were separated for the first time by chemical analysis, and it became clear that they were two different metallic elements.

Tantalum (Ta) niobium (Nb) are high melting point (tantalum 2996 ° C, niobium 2468 ° C), high boiling point (tantalum 5427 ° C, niobium 5127 ° C) rare metals, the appearance of steel, gray-white luster, the Tantalum powder is dark gray, with gas absorption, corrosion resistance, superconductivity, unipolar conductivity and high strength at high temperatures, and other characteristics.

Therefore, the current tantalum niobium new material applications related to high-tech industrial fields include electronics, precision ceramics, and precision glass industry; electro-acoustic optical devices; cemented carbide, astronautics, and electronic energy industry; biomedical engineering; superconductivity industry; special steel and other industries.

Niobium-tantalum has good resistance to physiological corrosion and biocompatibility and does not interact with body tissues, so it is often used in the manufacture of bone plates, skull plate bone screws, dental implant roots, surgical appliances, etc. Tantalum is also known as a “biophilic metal” because it replaces bone in the human body with tantalum strips on which muscles can grow.

This is why they are also known as “pro-biological metals”. Therefore, there are no allergies when using them for rings, and the price is better. Because tantalum is almost twice as dense as niobium, a tantalum ring of the same size will be more textured, darker in color, and more expensive than a niobium ring.

Because they have always coexisted in nature, we can also define them as a good brother or a loving couple who are inseparable, if you want to buy a pair of rings you can consider buying one each of tantalum and niobium for better meaning.

What are the Uses of Tantalum?

The role and uses of tantalum

It can be drawn into thin tantalum foil in the form of a fine tantalum wire. Its coefficient of thermal expansion is very small.

uses of tantalum

Tantalum has excellent chemical properties and is extremely resistant to corrosion. It can be used to make evaporating vessels, etc. It can also be used to make electrodes for electronic tubes, rectifiers, and electrolytic capacitors.

It is used medically to make thin tantalum sheets or threads to mend damaged tissue. Although tantalum is highly resistant to corrosion, its resistance to corrosion is due to the generation of a stable protective film of tantalum pentoxide on its surface.

 

Chemical properties of tantalum

Tantalum has excellent chemical properties and is extremely resistant to corrosion, not reacting to hydrochloric acid, concentrated nitric acid, or “aqua regia” under both cold and hot conditions.

However, tantalum can be corroded in hot concentrated sulfuric acid. Below 150°C, tantalum will not be corroded by concentrated sulfuric acid, but will only react above this temperature.

In 175 degrees in the concentrated sulfuric acid for 1 year, the thickness of the corrosion is 0.0004 mm, tantalum into 200 degrees in the sulfuric acid soaked for a year, the surface layer is only damaged by 0.006 mm. At 250 degrees Celsius, the corrosion rate increases to 0.116 mm per year.

At 300 degrees, the rate of corrosion is accelerated, soaking 1 year, the surface was corroded 1.368 mm. In fuming sulfuric acid corrosion rate is more serious than in concentrated sulfuric acid, soaked in the solution at 130 degrees for 1 year, the surface was corroded by the thickness of 15.6 mm.

What are the Main Uses of Tantalum?

What are the basic uses of tantalum?

1 Tantalum is used to make tantalum capacitors: tantalum carbide powder and tantalum wire are the key materials for making tantalum capacitors, and they are excellent capacitors. Niobium can also be used to make capacitors.

ta powder

2 Tantalum is used to make high-temperature resistant tantalum products: tantalum can withstand high temperatures, has good strength, and rigidity, and is a high-quality material for making heating parts, heat insulation parts, and charging vessels for vacuum high-temperature furnaces.

3 Tantalum niobium is used to make corrosion-resistant tantalum niobium products: Tantalum niobium is a high-quality material resistant to acid and alkali and liquid metal corrosion and can be used in the chemical industry to make boilers, heaters, coolers, various vessel devices, etc.

4 tantalum niobium in the aerospace industry: used in the production of aerospace aircraft, rockets, submarines, and other engine components, such as combustion chambers, combustion ducts, turbine pumps, etc. Such as WC-103 Nb-Hf-Ti high-temperature niobium-based alloy is a high-quality material for astronautics, used as rocket gas pedal nozzle, spacecraft propulsion powering device and nozzle valve, etc.

5 Tantalum used to make the lining of armor-piercing ammunition: the application is currently mainly in the United States, is a missile, such as TOW2B missile.

6 Tantalum carbide as additives to cemented carbide: cemented carbide is mainly used as tools, tools, molds, and wear-resistant corrosion-resistant structural components, adding TaC can improve its hardness, strength, melting point, etc. NbC can also be used, the performance is second to TaC.

7 Niobium is the main additive for steel. The addition of niobium micro-alloyed steel, and steel grain refinement, can improve the strength and toughness of steel, about 75% of niobium applications in the field.

8 Niobium used as superconducting materials: Nb-Ti alloy is today’s widely used *, the amount of * large superconducting materials, such as Nb47Ti, there are important applications in high-energy physics, is the large hadron collider, heavy ion collider, and other high-energy particle gas pedal * selected practical superconducting materials; Nb3Sn is second only to Nb-Ti practical superconducting materials.

9 Tantalum oxide, and niobium oxide is the raw material for making tantalum-niobium artificial crystal: Ta2O5, Nb2O5 is the raw material for making LT, LN and other crystals, LT, LN is an important piezoelectric, thermoelectric and nonlinear optical materials, in the laser and micro-acoustic surface wave and other technical fields have important uses.

10 Niobium in the atomic energy industry: Nb has a small neutron capture cross-section, high thermal conductivity, and strength, and is used in atomic energy reactors as a nuclear fuel cladding material, nuclear fuel alloy additive, and heat exchanger structural material.

11 other applications: cathode sputtering tantalum coating, high vacuum suction pump tantalum active material, Nb2O5 and Ta2O5 for optical glass modifiers and chemical catalysts, Ta, Nb in medical devices and arts and crafts applications, etc.

Why is Tantalum So Valuable?

Properties of tantalum

Tantalum has a series of excellent characteristics such as a high melting point, low vapor pressure, good cold processing performance, high chemical stability, strong resistance to liquid metal and acid and alkali corrosion, and large dielectric constant of the surface oxide film, which makes it an important modern functional material.

tantalum wire

Tantalum rapidly generates a surface oxide film that closely covers its metallic substrate in almost any environment, which is extremely thin and dense, impervious to almost all media, and self-healing once damaged. Thanks to this excellent protective film, tantalum has extremely good corrosion resistance. Except for fluorine, hydrofluoric acid, acidic solutions containing fluorine ions, fuming nitric acid, and strong alkalis, tantalum is impervious to corrosion in most media.

The main uses of tantalum

In the electronics industry, tantalum is mainly used as tantalum capacitors, which are usually applied in the form of capacitor-grade tantalum powder, tantalum wire, and tantalum foil. Tantalum capacitors are indispensable electronic components for radar, spacecraft, and missiles, and are widely used in civil applications such as mobile communication, electronic equipment, and instruments.

Tantalum powder can be made into small and large capacity capacitors because of its large specific surface area and large dielectric constant of the dielectric film, and therefore large capacity.

Electrolytic capacitors made of tantalum have the advantages of small size, lightweight, good reliability, large operating temperature range, shock resistance, and long service life. Tantalum electrolytic capacitors can be divided into solid electrolyte capacitors and liquid electrolyte capacitors according to their electrolytic degree.

Tantalum electrolytic capacitor

Capacitors can be distinguished by the form of their anodes, there are mainly two kinds of tantalum foil anodes and tantalum powder sintered anodes. Tantalum wire is used as the anode lead for these two types of capacitors. The development of the electronics industry is demanding more and more miniaturization and high reliability of tantalum capacitors. In the miniaturization of tantalum capacitors and chip types, efforts are made to increase the specific capacity of tantalum powder.

Tantalum is also used as a material for electronic tubes. Due to its high melting point, low vapor pressure, good processing properties, low coefficient of thermal expansion, and excellent gas absorption, tantalum is a good material for emitter tubes and high-power electron tube parts. Due to its high chemical stability, tantalum target is an important material for the magneto-space sputtering coating of electronic chips.

Tantalum carbide is a refractory metal, which occupies an extremely important position in cemented carbide industrial applications. Like the ceramic carbides of WC, TiC, and metallic cobalt, TaC has excellent wear resistance, toughness, hardness, and stability.

There are two types of tantalum carbide use: one is to add tantalum carbide directly to WC-Co or WC-TiC-Co alloy in small amounts, which plays a role in controlling grain growth, etc.; the other is to form a solid solution with niobium carbide or other carbides, which can improve the high-temperature hardness, high-temperature strength and oxidation resistance of the alloy, greatly improving cutting speed and extending tool life.

Ceramic carbide has excellent cutting performance, generally composed of α, γ, β three phases. α phase is tungsten carbide; β phase is the metal phase binder, metal cobalt is the most commonly used binder for ceramic carbide; γ phase is the solid solution formed by TaC, NbC, and TiC, γ phase is dissolved in tungsten carbide, its role is as a crystal generation inhibitor.

The deep processing of tantalum and its application

Tantalum has very good plasticity and is extremely easy to be processed plastic. Various industrial profiles (tantalum tube, tantalum rod, tantalum wire, tantalum strip) can be produced by using conventional processing processes (extrusion, forging, rolling, and drawing). Tantalum and tantalum alloy molten ingots have a coarse grain organization and must first be extruded or hot-forged to open the billet and break the grains before they can be further processed into the material.

Pure tantalum can be forged at room temperature to open the billet, tantalum alloy open billet temperature is generally 1100- l200 ℃. During processing, the oxidation of the tantalum alloy surface generates loose oxides and can penetrate into the alloy matrix, forming a hard permeable layer that cracks during processing. Therefore, it is important to try to protect the metal surface from oxidation during the entire machining process.

Currently, tantalum blanks are protected by salt bath heating, coating, jacketing, inert gas protection, etc. The extrusion method can produce metal tubes, bars, and profiles of different sizes; tantalum ingots can be directly forged into rolled slabs. Glass coating can be used as a lubricant; rolling of tantalum alloy plates, usually using two-roll or four-roll mills, with deformation of 10% and 15%, and total deformation of 70% and 80% when rolling 2.5mm thin plates. When rolling a 2.5mm thin plate, kerosene or palm oil is used as a lubricant.

Is Tantalum a Good Ring Material?

The choice of a man’s wedding ring is a very important task when it comes to marriage. Tantalum rings herald a combination of timelessness, lifestyle and individuality. Whether you are looking for a classic or unique wedding band, choosing the right metal is an integral part of the experience.

Men’s wedding bands on the market are made of gold, sterling silver, platinum, titanium and tungsten. However, another type of wedding band is on the rise: the tantalum ring.

If you are looking for a men’s engagement ring that is popular for its luster, durability and uniqueness, you may want to consider purchasing a wedding band made of tantalum.

Tantalum has recently emerged in the wedding ring industry, but tantalum is a hard, lustrous metal that has been used extensively in the industry since the 19th century. So, what is tantalum? Is it a reliable metal? Is this expensive? Is it better than titanium?

We’ll address all your questions in this complete guide to tantalum rings.

What is tantalum?

In its natural form, tantalum is a dense mineral that can be highly molded by heat or electricity, making it a great choice for industrial use. Tantalum has a deep, vivid color, darker than platinum. Because of its strength and utility, tantalum is a popular metal used in jewelry, including tantalum rings, bands and watches.

Tantalum has been around for centuries, but it has a vintage vibe that makes it unique in the jewelry market. For example, the name tantalum comes from the Greek mythological figure Tantalus. However, don’t let its ancient origins fool you. Tantalum is currently used in the field of energy, including capacitors and resistors.

The appeal of tantalum wedding rings is that they combine classic elegance with a modern, futuristic appeal. Tantalum rings are lightweight, masculine, strong, and unique. They are particularly resistant to corrosion because they are made of durable industrial materials.

Tantalum wedding rings are a unique variant that combines fluidity, aesthetics and industrial toughness.

Tantalum ring advantages

Tantalum’s durability: We keep trying again and again, and rings made of tantalum are durable.

Unlike tungsten, another popular men’s wedding ring, tantalum is shatterproof. A trustworthy and durable choice, tantalum is tough enough for those who work with their hands.

Appearance: Thanks to the metal’s natural luster, tantalum has a beautiful shine. Depending on your style, Tantalum rings are available in matte or polished finishes.

Tantalum is a pro-biological material, it is harmless and is often used in medical procedures and is safe for people with sensitive skin or those prone to allergic reactions.

Resizing: Can I resize my Tantalum ring? Yes. If your ring size changes, Tantalum will provide you with the option to easily resize your ring instead of replacing it. In contrast, both titanium and tungsten are difficult to resize.

Tantalum is easy to clean: Tantalum is very easy to maintain and does not require special cleaning by a professional jeweler. Simply wash with detergent-free soapy water to add a sparkling clean shine to rings and bands made of tantalum.

Are there any disadvantages to Tantalum wedding rings?

While tantalum wedding bands are a popular choice, there are still some drawbacks to consider.

For example, tantalum itself is a conflict metal. What does this mean? Well, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, about 10 percent of tantalum comes from a conflict mineral region in the Congo, where smuggling and exporting has created a serious crisis.

Tantalum contamination from dissolved particles to the earth’s fresh water and soil has also raised environmental concerns. But, as with other metals, including titanium and tungsten, the data is vague and contradictory.

Another drawback of tantalum rings is the lack of design versatility. Unlike the three metals (gold, silver and platinum), tantalum wedding bands are relatively new to men’s rings. This means that there are limited designs of tantalum wedding bands and wedding bands for men, and almost non-existent options for women.

Are these drawbacks enough to deter potential buyers from purchasing a tantalum wedding band? It depends on the buyer’s priorities, but there is no denying that the pros of tantalum rings may outweigh the cons.

Tantalum Rings

Tantalum is highly malleable, meaning it can withstand wear and tear without cracking or breaking. In fact, tantalum is practically shatterproof.

How much does a tantalum ring cost?

Tantalum rings are slightly more expensive than titanium or tungsten rings, and for good reason. Tantalum is a rare metal that makes up only 1-2 PPM (parts per million) of the earth’s crust.

Tantalum is a rare material and is therefore valued. In addition, tantalum rings are made with high-quality craftsmanship, which adds to the price and novelty of tantalum wedding bands.

Should I buy a tantalum ring?

At this point, this is a complete breakdown of tantalum rings and we hope we have answered all your questions in this guide. However, there is still the question, “Should I buy a tantalum ring?”

Ultimately, choosing a men’s wedding ring is a highly personal and subjective process. Only you can decide which ring is right for you.

Conclusion

Tantalum wedding bands are particularly attractive because tantalum is a rare metal. Tantalum rings are long-lasting, which means you don’t have to worry about delicate or fragile wedding bands. Tantalum wedding bands are timeless, durable, and unique.

What is 3D Printed Porous Tantalum?

The discovery of tantalum

Known as a “biophilic” metal, pure tantalum has been used in orthopedic medicine for more than 80 years. tantalum was discovered in ore by Swedish chemist Ekeberg in 1802 and named after Tantalus. tantalum was obtained in higher purity by the sodium reduction of Na2TaF7 by Rhodes in 1866.

porous tantalum

Subsequently, with its unique physicochemical properties and excellent biological inertness and biocompatibility, pure tantalum was first used in the field of orthopedics in 1940 and has been clinically used for 80 years, becoming another new biomaterial after titanium, which is widely used in oral implant placement, femoral head necrosis treatment, coronary artery stent placement, artificial acetabular prosthesis implantation, surgical suture production and other medical-related fields. A large amount of literature confirms that no adverse reactions have occurred with pure tantalum as human implants.

Biological and physicochemical properties of tantalum

1) Physical properties of tantalum

Pure tantalum is a gray, bright, hard metal with moderate hardness and good ductility, and can be drawn into tantalum wires thinner than a hair.

2) Mechanical properties

The difference between pure tantalum and the elastic modulus of bone tissue is large, which is not conducive to osseointegration. As a new type of orthopaedic implant material, porous tantalum has an interconnected internal structure and is interwoven longitudinally and horizontally. It has physical properties such as high porosity, low modulus of elasticity, and high surface friction coefficient.

In terms of mechanical properties, porous tantalum is superior to solid tantalum and other commonly used medical metal materials. Its special pore structure makes its elastic modulus between that of human cancellous bone and cortical bone, making it particularly suitable for bone replacement, joint replacement, and human tissue filling. It can provide mechanical strength while reducing stress shielding, facilitating stress transmission, facilitating bone shaping, and also has excellent osteoinductive properties, and is widely used in the field of orthopedics, and has achieved ideal results.

Compared with other porous materials, the friction coefficient of porous tantalum is 0.80 and 0.74 relative to the cancellous bone and cortical bone, respectively, which is 40% to 80% higher than that of traditional metallic materials. This helps to bond with the host bone interface and enhance the stability of the initial implantation.

3) Good corrosion resistance

At room temperature, tantalum will not react with hydrochloric acid, concentrated nitric acid or even aqua regia, and common inorganic salts will not corrode it. It is chemically extremely stable and resistant to all inorganic and organic acids except hydrofluoric acid, sulfur trioxide, hot concentrated sulfuric acid and alkalis.

4) Good biocompatibility

Unlike conventional medical metal materials, biological tissue grows on tantalum after a period of implantation, just as it does on real bone. This is why Tantalum is also known as a “pro-metal”.

5) Good bone bioactivity

The biologically active bone material interface is a hydroxyapatite layer rather than a connective tissue layer, and Tantalum itself has good bone bioactivity and stable biological inertness, which allows it to form a strong bone interface integration with bone.

Tantalum Applications

High clinical demand and large market size

The preparation of biocompatible bone scaffolds has been one of the hot topics of research in the medical field, and there are no less than 3 million cases of medical human bone implants in the USA every year, with prices reaching tens of thousands or even more than 100,000 yuan per case. According to EvaluateMedTech, orthopedic-related medical devices had global sales of $36.5 billion in 2017 and will reach $47.1 billion in 2024, with a compound annual growth rate of 3.7%.

Current orthopedic metal implant materials

The choice of medical human bone implant materials, the earlier application of materials are stainless steel, nickel-chromium alloy, nickel-titanium alloy, the last 2 or 3 years the trend is TC4 titanium alloy, these materials contain nickel, chromium, or aluminum, vanadium and other harmful elements, and because of its elastic modulus exceeds the human bone too much, the material and the human body affinity is low, prone to “bone non-stick “phenomenon. Medical experts and the market urgently need new non-toxic and non-hazardous new materials with good affinity to the human body to improve the current situation.

Porous tantalum advantages

(1) Perfect integration with the host bone interface: compared to the most commonly used titanium, tantalum is more biocompatible and has a better osseointegration capability.

(2) Unique bionic trabecular structure: Tantalum’s elastic modulus is closer to that of bone tissue, making it more suitable for bionic trabecular structure in the human body than other metals.

(3) Inducing rapid bone and vascular growth into It can promote the rapid growth of bone tissue and vascular tissue into the pores of porous tantalum, and its highly porous and supportive structure provides extensive space for bone growth, forming a good biological fixation, which can effectively solve the exothermic effect of bone cement and the impact on surrounding tissues, which is great clinical progress.

The above advantages make it show great clinical application value and application space in different sizes of orthopedic implants, and different parts of bone defects.

1) Application of porous tantalum in orthopedics

In clinical applications, porous tantalum printing can be applied to all small and medium-sized restorative products. For large-sized repair products, considering the high density of pure tantalum and the excessive weight of the printed implant prosthesis, multi-component gradient printing can be adopted, with porous tantalum used in the bone growing-in area and other metals such as titanium alloy, which is cheaper and lighter in quality, can be used in other areas.

With the continuous research on tantalum materials in recent years, several clinical trials have proven that new implants made of medical tantalum in combination with titanium and other metals can compensate for the shortcomings of other metal materials in terms of biocompatibility, bioactivity, and implant-bone bonding.

2) Tantalum coating – a new direction for orthopaedic applications

Tantalum metal has excellent corrosion resistance, and its coating on the surface of certain medical metal materials can effectively prevent the release of toxic elements and improve the biocompatibility of metal materials. Tantalum coatings meet the three elements of ideal bone graft materials, namely osteoconductivity, osteoconduction and osteogenesis, resulting in wider clinical applications and more flexible patient choices.

In addition, tantalum has also been used as an implant material in the restorative treatment of patients with missing teeth. Experiments have shown that conventional implants can absorb up to 30% of the loading energy during the loading process, while tantalum trabecular implants can absorb 50%-75%, which allows the implant to disperse the loading force to the surrounding bone during the long-term intraoral functional loading, avoiding stress concentration, while the higher friction coefficient provides good initial stability during implant placement, thus improving the dental implant bonding rate, especially in implant patients with poor bone quality.

Rare Watchmaking Metal – Tantalum

Within the world of watchmaking, there has always been an unquenchable thirst for material innovation. Over the past few decades, the arms race of the age of the new materials has given rise to countless alloys, each surpassing the others in terms of strength and durability.

Big Bang Tantalum

Technology continues to advance, prompting us to desperately tap into the potential of the periodic table of elements in search of the next exotic metal that can replace gold and titanium.

Today let’s learn about a new metal material for space: tantalum. Tantalum, a chemical element with the symbol Ta and atomic number 73, takes its name “Tantalum” from the Greek myth of Tantalus. With a core mass of 16.7 g/cm3, tantalum has a similar weight to 18-carat gold. A hard, blue-gray, rare transition metal, tantalum has a much harder surface than other metals used in watchmaking, such as stainless steel, gold and titanium. It is extremely resistant to corrosion.

Tantalum is a refractory metal with a melting point of 3017 °C (boiling point 5458 °C), only tungsten, rhenium, osmium, and carbon have a higher melting point than it. It is often used as a secondary component of alloys. Tantalum’s low chemical activity makes it resistant to acid corrosion, and it is even resistant to aqua regia at temperatures below 150 °C. It is a suitable substitute for platinum as a material for laboratory equipment. It has a characteristic blue color that lurks beneath a lustrous silver-tone, providing an invisible luster that no other metal, not even titanium, can achieve.

Tantalum’s unique physicochemical properties are what attract high-end luxury watches. Imagine a watch that is almost heavier than gold or platinum, with a distinctive blue/gray hue, while staying away from the exaggerated nature of gold. And with no signs of aging corrosion over the years! This rare space metal has so far only found its way into the product lines of a few fine watchmaking brands.

The use of tantalum in the watch industry

The body of an OMEGA watch is titanium, and the bezel and central double link of the watch are tantalum. The two metals are easier to distinguish: titanium is gray with a slight yellow tint, while tantalum is darker with a blue tint.

The Hublot Big Bang Tantalum has been a staple of Hublot’s line since its launch in 2005, and although it has been re-imagined in a dozen different material and color combinations, the Tantalum variant tops the list. The grey timepiece has a diameter of 44.5 mm, a case, lugs and bezel made of the rare metal tantalum, and a brushed dial that displays the time, date and chronograph functions. As with most Big Bang, Hublot seamlessly blends contrasting materials, combining a rustic, soft tantalum watch with a black rubber strap.

Girard-Perregaux Bi-Axial Tantalum & Sapphire Tourbillon Girard-Perregaux first introduced its lightweight titanium tourbillon biaxial tourbillon just one year after its tantalum case was born – a stunning hand-wound mechanical piece whose distinctive look defined it.