Tungsten counts as one of the refractory metals. It has the highest melting point and lowest vapour pressure of all metallic elements.

SpecMetallMaster produces tungsten and tungsten alloys by powder metallurgical processes. An advantage of powder metallurgy against other manufacturing methods is the fine grain size of the tungsten powder obtained. The fine-grained nature of tungsten manufactured by powder metallurgy simplifies further processing and conveys better mechanical properties to the finished product.

On average the Earth’s crust contains around 1.25 g/tonne of tungsten.

Along with the minerals Ferberite (FeWO4), Hubnerite (MnWO4) and Wolframite ((Fe,Mn)WO4), Scheelite (CaWO4) is the most important ore involved in tungsten production. The largest deposits are found in China, Russia, Canada and North America, although tungsten is also mined in Austria.

The ores are separated from their by-products mainly by crushing and grinding, followed by flotation. Ammonium paratungstate(APT-(NH4)4WO4) is recovered after several intermediate steps, and this is converted to tungsten oxide (WO3) or tungsten blue oxide(WO3-x) by heating to evaporate ammonia.

Tungsten powder is obtained from ammonium paratungstate ((NH4)2WO4),tungsten oxide (WO3) and tungsten blue oxide (WO3-x) by hydrogen reduction at temperatures in the range 700 °C - 1100 °C (973 - 1373K). Various grain sizes can be produced depending on the reduction temperature and the hydrogen dew-point. Purity of the metal powder is above 99.97 %.In the manufacture of doped or alloyed tungsten products, the doping or alloying elements are either introduced into the raw materials prior to reduction using the sol-gel process, or they can be added to the metal powder after reduction.

Following the reduction stage the powder is sieved and homogenised. The initial densification of the powder to various plate and rod geometries takes place predominantly through die pressing and cold isostatic pressing.