Tantalum was discovered in Sweden in 1802 by Anders Ekeberg.
Tantalum is a chemical element with symbol Ta and atomic number 73. Previously known as tantalium, its name comes from Tantalus, a villain from Greek mythology.
Tantalum is a rare, dark (blue – gray), compact, ductile, very hard, easily fabricated, and has high thermal and electric power, and a glossy transition metal.
It is mainly found in coltan and symbiotic. The hardness of the crucible is moderate and malleable, and it can be drawn into a thin foil. Its coefficient of thermal expansion is small. The metal is highly biocompatible and can be used in human implants and coatings. It has excellent chemical properties and is extremely resistant to corrosion. It does not react with hydrochloric acid, concentrated nitric acid and “Aqua regia” under both cold and hot conditions. Its corrosion resistance is due to the formation of a stable tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5) protective film on the surface.
Tantalum welding must be carried out in an inert atmosphere of argon or helium to prevent it from being polluted by atmospheric gases. Grinding tantalum is difficult, especially annealed tantalum.
Tantalum is mainly used as metal powder in the production of electronic components, mainly capacitors and some high-power resistors.
Tantalum is also used to produce various alloys with high melting point, strength and ductility. It is also used to manufacture carbide tools for metal processing equipment, as well as Superalloys for jet engine components, chemical processing equipment, nuclear reactors, missile components, heat exchangers, tanks and containers.
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