Tungsten Wire Properties

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Tungsten wire is the foundation of incandescent bulbs, filament lamps, and light fixtures. It is also used in arc welding, fasteners, and various electrical applications.

Tungsten is a hard metal that can be made into a wide variety of shapes, sizes and lengths. It is important that tungsten wire properties are carefully monitored throughout the manufacturing process, so the proper physical properties are achieved for each application. Cutting corners early in the production process can result in poor performance and costly repairs later on.

The tensile properties of pure tungsten wire are very good at room temperature and annealed to 1900°C. The tensile strength decreases rapidly above this temperature. In addition, tungsten-rhenium alloy wire can be used at high temperatures without any loss of ductility, due to the stabilized fine grain microstructure that inhibits secondary recrystallization and dissipates shock waves, thereby providing long life under vibrational loading.

Typical stress-strain curves of pure tungsten fibers are collected in Fig.1. The annealed K-doped wire shows an improved plastic response compared with the as-fabricated tungsten wire. The yield stress and the ultimate tensile strength smoothly decrease with increasing test temperature, while the fracture strain exhibits a non-negligible increase.

The OM and SEM pictures of a few samples of the tensile fracture surfaces are shown in Fig.2. The morphology of the fracture surface is clearly changing, as necking becomes more and more obvious. The pattern of the debonded grains is shifting from a sponge-like to snow flake structure. This results from the mechanical interaction of the atomic defects.