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What is Tantalum? Properties and Composition


Tantalum is one of the most versatile and valuable elements on Earth. A grey-white metallic element, tantalum has a wide range of potential uses due to its unique properties, including its compressive strength and specific resistance. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the composition, source, machinability, valency, and other properties of tantalum so that you can learn more about this amazing element.



Composition of Tantalum

Tantalum is composed primarily of tantalite ore (Fe, Mn)Ta2O6 and columbite ore (Mn, Fe)(Nb, Ta)2O6. These elements form the basis for much of the world’s tantalum production. It also contains small amounts of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), niobium (Nb), tungsten (W), carbon (C), and oxygen (O).

Compressive Strength of Tantalum

The compressive strength of tantalum is extremely high – it’s estimated to be around five times higher than steel. This means that it’s able to withstand significant amounts of pressure without buckling or breaking. This makes it an ideal material for construction projects or applications where heavy loads are expected.

Source of Tantalum Materials

Most tantalum materials come from Africa; however, there are also some sources in Europe and North America as well. In addition to mining operations, some companies specialize in recycling used tantalum materials, which can help reduce waste and conserve resources.

Specific Resistance of Tantalum

The specific resistance of tantalum is around 0.2 ohms per centimeter cube at room temperature – making it one of the best electrical resistive materials available today. Its low resistivity ensures that it can be used in various applications where electrical resistance is important – such as capacitors or semiconductor devices.

Machinability of Tantalum

Due to its high melting point (~3000°C) and hardness (~5 Mohs scale), machining tantalum metals can be difficult but possible with proper tools and techniques. It can be cut with precision using diamond blades or special carbide tools which have been specifically designed for working with this metal alloy.

Valency Of Tantalum

The valency number for tantalums is 5+ since it forms two oxides – Ta2O5 and Ta2O3. The valency number indicates how many other atoms or molecules an atom can bond with or donate electrons to when creating compounds. By understanding its valency number, chemists are better able to predict how atoms will react with each other when combined.




Whether you’re looking for a metal that is strong enough to stand up to significant amounts of pressure or one that has excellent electrical resistivity, tantalums should certainly be at the top of your list! With its unique combination of features, this metal alloy provides excellent performance in many different applications across various industries ranging from automotive engineering to medical technology. Are you looking for more information on these properties? Contact Metric Marketing today! We have over 30 years of experience providing expert advice on all things related to metallurgy!

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