Tantalum wire


This site is designed as an educational reference, serving as a reliable source for all information related to wire made from tantalum. Currently this website is under development with the goal to be the best reference on the supply side as well as for technical research / scientific studies.


Tantalum has for decades been used in electronic products, mainly as powder and wire for capacitors in space-sensitive, high-end applications in telecommunications and data storage. In additon tantalum is wiedely used in sputtering processes. The high melting point of the refractory metal and its resistance to corrosion makes is suitable as thermal elements in difficult applications.


Wire made of tantalum is used in medical equipment components (e.g. marker pins and balls) as the metal has a high density compared to other metals and materials. It shows up very clearly on (x-ray) radiographs and has a lower cost than a precious platinum product.


Tantalum is further used in a range of other applications requiring strength, ductility, toughness, corrosion resistance, thermal conductivity and high melting point. Wire products in annealed and cold worked conditions of 99.95% purity materials, or with alloy elements like tungsten, titanium or molybdenum used in chemical industry. Tantalum nickel alloys are used in e.g. aerospace applications.



Wire processing

Wire fabrication starts with tantalum ingot, that is produced from tantalum scrap or mined tantalum minerals. The ingot size is reduced in a number of steps ending up by wire drawing of the tantalum.


> Read more on tantalum wire processing


Tantalum wire suppliers

Most wire is made to order by the tantalum mill. Suppliers typically supply Electron beam melted Grade R05200 or sintered tantalum Grade R05400 material. Large order quanty wire (10 kgs and up) is typically sourced directly from the relevant mill. Tantalum wire in small quantity may be more dfficult to source.


> Read more on small order tantalum wire sourcing.


Wire Specifications

Technical grade tantalum wire typically follow the standard ASTM B365 - 12 whereas Medical Grade wire typically follows ASTM F560 or ISO 13782. The wire is typically supplied annealed or unannealed on spools or as straightened tantalum rods.


> Read more on Tantalum wire specifications


Industrial purity wires

Technical tantalum wire form are used in the manufacturing of Tantalum capacitors manufactured from purity tantalum powder. The capacity, expressed in capacitance is dependent on the relatove surface area of the sintered tantalum component. Over the last decades, the manufactured tantalum powders have improved significantly and tantalum particle size between 2 and 10 μm can be obtained. A "pellet" is formed by compressing the powder around a tantalum wire (known as the riser wire). The riser wire ultimately becomes the anode connection to the capacitor. Vacuum sintered at high temperature (typically 1200 to 1800 °C) is nessesary to give a strong pellet/wire combination. This result in predictable mechanical strength and density. also a large large internal surface area is produced. Scientific developed products with lower average particle sizes, are used for low voltage, high capacitance elements. Larger surface areas produce higher capacitance. Choosing the correct powder type and sintering temperature, a specific capacitance or voltage rating can be achieved. For example, a 220 μF 6 V capacitor will have a surface area close to 350 cm2.


Surgical wires

Due to a superior biocompatibility (salt water resistance), pure tantalum has been widely used in clinical research for more than 50 years as a radiographic marker for diagnostic services, due its high density; as the material of choice for permanent implantation in bone, as osteomigration prevents migration; as vascular clips, with the particular advantage that since tantalum is not ferromagnetic it is highly suited to MRI scanning; in the repair of cranial defects; at stents to prevent arterial collapse and to treat biliary and arteriovenous (haemodialyzer) fistular stenosis; in fracture repair; in custom dental products and in other miscellaneous uses. For life science applications tantalum has an important use as x-ray markers where the wire is processed into tantalum baeds or x-ray marker pins


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