Tantalum is a chemical element with the symbol Ta and atomic number 73. A rare, hard, blue-gray, lustrous transition metal, tantalum is highly corrosion resistant and occurs naturally in the mineral tantalite, always together with the chemically similar niobium. It is part of the refractory metals group, which are widely used as minor component in alloys.

Tantalum Ingot
Tantalum Ingot
Tantalum Tube
Tantalum Tube
Metallurgical Ta powder
Metallurgical Ta powder

The chemical inertness of tantalum makes it a valuable substance for laboratory equipment and a substitute for platinum, but its main use today is in tantalum capacitors in electronic equipment.

The history of tantalum is closely related to that of niobium. Until the middle of the 19th century it was still unclear whether they were actually individual elements.

Both have very similar chemical properties and are invariably found together in their naturally occurring state. They have a characteristic body-centred-cubic structure and are classed as refractory metals.

Both powder metallurgy and molten metal processing (electron-beam melting or vacuum-arc melting) are used in the manufacture of tantalum, niobium and their alloys. The actual method used is determined by the intended application.

The average content of tantalum in the Earth's crust amounts to 2 g/tonne.

SpecMetallMaster Company produces pure tantalum as an unalloyed metal with a guaranteed purity of 99.8 %. It has a melting point of 2996 °C and is ductile up to approx. -200 °C despite of its cubic body-centred cubic lattice.

Tantalum can be machined easily for a cubic body-centred metal and shows already at room temperatures elongation > 20 % at tensile strength > 200 N/mm2 in recrystallized condition. For applications at temperatures above 300 °C it has to be noticed that tantalum becomes brittle in contact with oxygen or hydrogen. For nitrogen and hydrocarbons the maximum application temperature is 700 °C.

Advantages of Pure Tantalum

  • excellent corrosion resistance;
  • high temperature strength;
  • easy to machine;
  • good biocompatibility.

The Use of Tantalum

  • heat exchangers for the chemical apparatus engineering;
  • components for the high temperature furnace construction;
  • manufacture of capacitors in the electronics industry;
  • boats and coils for resistive evaporation;
  • string coverings of musical instruments;
  • medical technology.

Tantalum is used in the form of crucibles (drawing dies). Available products include sheet, rod, tube and wire as well as machined and chipless-formed parts according to customer drawings.