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Properties and uses of Tantalum

By Thomas Huang December 11th, 2023 89 views

I, Tantalum material properties

We have previously detailed the uses of zirconium and have received many emails asking for an introduction to tantalum. So here we will give a general introduction to Tantalum and its products.
Tantalum metal is a transition metal with the chemical symbol Ta.

1.1 Basic Properties

Melting point 2996°C Boiling point 5425°C
Hardness 6.5 Density 16.6 g/cm3
Good Low-temperature plasticity  Tantalum-based alloys can maintain ductility even at -196°C. The tantalum metal could be made into all kinds of sharps, including tantalum round plate, square plate,tantalum pipes, tantalum target material, tantalum rods, tatalum foil, and so on.
tantalum shapes

1.2 Tantalum Corrosion Resistance Properties

1.2.1Tantalum vs Various Corrosive Chemical Compounds Tantalum does not react to hydrochloric acid, concentrated nitric acid, and "aqua regia"  at all. Corrosion Status of Tantalum in Sulphuric Acid
Temperature (°C) Corroded condition
130  Immerse in fuming sulphuric acid (containing 15 percent SO3),15.6mm/year.
150  Can be corroded by concentrated sulphuric acid.
175  Immerse in concentrated sulphuric acid, 0.0004mm/year.
250  Immerse in concentrated sulphuric acid, 0.116mm/year.
300  Immerse in concentrated sulphuric acid, 1.368mm/year. The Corrosion Status of Tantalum in Other Acids
Acid type Corroded condition
Phosphoric acid  Can be corroded at 150°C. Immerse in 85% phosphoric acid at 250°C, 20 mm/year. 
Mixed acid of hydrofluoric acid and nitric acid  Can be dissolved quickly. 
Hydrofluoric acid  Can be dissolved. The corrosion status of Tantalum
strong alkali
Alkali type Corroded condition 
Potassium hydroxide solution  Tantalum will be quickly dissolved 40% in this solution at 100°C. 
Caustic soda solution  Tantalum will be quickly dissolved 40% in concentration of caustic soda solution at 110°C. Tantalum can react with fluorine at room temperature. The corrosion condition with other substances over 150°C
The oxide film on the surface of tantalum is destroyed over 150 °C, so it can react with a variety of substances.
substances Corroded condition
Chlorine, bromine, and iodine  Tantalum is inert to chlorine, bromine, and iodine at 150°C. It reacts with bromine at over 300°C. Tantalum inerts to iodine vapor before it reaches a red-hot temperature.
Chlorine Tantalum is still corrosion-resistant to dry chlorine at 250 °C. It remains bright when heated to 400 °C in chlorine-containing water vapor, and begins to corrode at 500°C. 
Hydrogen chloride Tantalum reacts with Hydrogen chloride at 410°C.
Hydrogen bromide  It reacts with tantalum at 410°C. 
Sulfur  It reacts with tantalum when heated to 200°C. 
Carbon and hydrocarbons They react with tantalum with a temperature is 800-1100°C.

1.3tantalum vs zirconium

1.3.1 Tantalum is more resistant to corrosion, but because it is expensive, zirconium is generally chosen as a corrosion-resistant material when conditions are not too harsh.

1.3.2 Tantalum is soluble in caustic at 40°C, whereas zirconium can withstand even boiling caustic.

1.4tantalum vs Stainless steel

1.4.1Melting point

Tantalum stainless steel
2996°C 1200℃ to1700℃
Tantalum welding Tantalum welding methods include tungsten inert gas shielded welding, laser welding, electron beam welding, explosion welding, and so on.

1.4.2 Mechanical property

Tantalum has much better ductility and plasticity than stainless steel.

1.4.3 Corrosion resistance

Tantalum has obviously much better acid corrosion resistance than stainless steel with inorganic acid below 150℃.  However, it tends to perform poorly under strong alkalis, while stainless steel can resist strong alkalis. 

II, Tantalum uses

Application Description
Chemical reaction  To make or work in inorganic acid conditions. Tantalum can be used to replace stainless steel, life than stainless steel dozens of times. Including tantalum reactors ( lab reactor, industrial reactor) , tantalum heat exchanger, tatalum Venturi , etc. 
tatanlum chemical equipment
Electric Tantalum forms a stable anodic oxide film in the acidic electrolyte. Electrolytic capacitors are made of tantalum, with a large capacity, small size, and good reliability, etc. 
Tantalum is also the production of electronic emission tubes, high-power electronic tube parts of the material. 
Photo Tantalum Electrolytic capacitors
Oil industry.  Tantalum corrosion-resistant equipment for the production of strong acids, bromine, ammonia, and other chemical industries.  The following is the sketch of tantalum reboiler. 
Photo tantalum reboiler
Aerospace Tantalum metal can be used as structural materials for the combustion chamber of aircraft engines. 
Tantalum-tungsten, tantalum-tungsten-hafnium, and tantalum-hafnium alloys are used as heat-resistant and high-strength materials for rockets, missiles, and jet engines, as well as control and regulation of equipment parts. 
Photo Parts made by tantalum for high temperature purpose
High temperature  Tantalum is easily processed and shaped and is used in high-temperature vacuum furnaces as support accessories, heat shields, heaters, and heat sinks. 
Medical tantalum can be used as orthopaedic and surgical materials
 Tantalum can be made into wires one-tenth thinner than a strand of hair, which can be used as sutures for internal organ surgery or embedded in artificial eyeballs. This tantalum wire can even replace tendons and nerve fibers. Medical doctors use tantalum plates made of artificial ears
Photo artificial bones
Machinery Tantalum carbide is used to make cemented carbide. turning insert for machiningTurning tools made of it can cut many hard alloys at high speed; various drills made of it can replace the hardest alloys or diamonds.
Nuclear Tantalum borides, silicides, and nitrides and their alloys are used in the atomic energy industry as heat-releasing elements and liquid metal jacket materials.
Others Tantalum oxide is used in the manufacture of high-grade optical glass and catalysts.

III Advantages of Tantalum metal in reactors

The advantages that Tantalum metal exhibits in reactors compared to other metals cannot be ignored.

For example, although stainless steel has good corrosion resistance in some neutral conditions, it tends to perform poorly in harsh conditions such as strong acids and alkalis and is easily corroded. While titanium has good corrosion resistance in some corrosive environments, it is easy to react with oxygen, nitrogen, and other elements at high temperatures to form brittle oxides, thus reducing its stability.

In contrast, tantalum metal is recognized for its excellent resistance to high temperatures and pressures, as well as its outstanding corrosion resistance, making it ideal for a wide range of reaction processes. From pharmaceuticals to chemicals, from petroleum refining to the research of new materials, tantalum metal is playing an irreplaceable role.

Tantalum metal, as an important material, shows distinctive advantages in the reactor. Its high-temperature and high-pressure resistance and excellent corrosion resistance make it stable and reliable in all kinds of chemical reactions, contributing to the development of the chemical industry. Whether in the improvement of existing processes or in the research of new materials, tantalum metal shines brightly in the reactor with its unique properties.
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