What is Tantalum?

Tantalum (Ta) is a highly ductile, highly refractory metal (chemically inert and resistant to heat and wear), with a very high melting point (fourth highest of the metals).

Benefits of Tantalum

It is very resistant to corrosion due to the formation of a thin surface layer of tantalum oxide, which also has the property of being an insulating layer. This thin layer of tantalum oxide results in favourable dielectric properties, hence the major usage of tantalum is in capacitors for the electronics and telecommunications industry. Tantalum capacitors are small and reliable and are favoured for miniaturised electronic applications, such as in mobile phones, hand held devices and solid state drives.

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Technical information

Tantalum shares many of its properties with niobium (Nb), with which it is commonly found.

Tantalum is used in resistors and semiconductors. Other uses include within alloys and superalloys, to increase ductility, melting point and corrosion resistance (e.g., high temperature applications, turbine blades), within medical and dental applications (using its inertness and biocompatibility) and chemical process industries (making use of its high temperature and corrosion resistance properties, e.g., heat exchangers, vacuum furnaces).


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