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When it comes to manufacturing tungsten products the density of the powder is an important factor. Many applications, such as radiation shielding and weighting require high density tungsten powder to increase the mass of the product and focus it. The apparent density of tungsten powder is influenced by the average grain size, particle distribution, and the degree of agglomeration. It is also impacted by the reduction process. For example, the relative humidity can affect the nucleation rate and the final particle size.

Tungsten powder is the primary raw material for processing tungsten alloys. It is produced by the hydrogen reduction of high-purity tungsten oxides. Tungsten trioxide, tungsten nitrate and ammonium paratungstate are the most common oxides used for this process. The reduction takes place in pusher furnaces that are operated with varying temperatures. The conditions are controlled to ensure that the tungsten does not oxidize and that it is reduced to a metallic form.

The average tungsten particle size is determined through an air permeability method called a Fisher sub sieve sizer (FSSS). Buffalo Tungsten offers a variety of sizes from ultrafine to coarse and a certificate of analysis is included with every shipment. This provides detailed information on the chemical, physical and technological properties of the tungsten powder. This information can be helpful in determining the best application for the tungsten powder and the resulting tungsten products. In some applications, a narrower particle size distribution may be required and through the furnace conditions or supplemental processing, the largest and smallest particles can be removed from the tungsten powder.

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