Ammonium Tungstate comes in two main forms – paratungstate and metatungstate. Ammonium paratungstate is a white crystalline salt of ammonium and tungsten, partly soluble in water, and is usually found in one of two states within its chemical compound – either pentahydrate (with five molecules of water) and decahydrate (with ten molecules of water).
When ammonium paratungstate is heated to between 220 and 280 degrees Celsius, it loses part of its ammonium and water compounds, transforming into ammonium metatungstate. This new compound is a highly pure, water-soluble tungsten powder which is almost completely free of alkali and metallic impurities.
THE GROWING DEMAND FOR AMMONIUM TUNGSTATE
With its two differing forms that both offer unique characteristics, the demand for ammonium tungstate has grown, along with the number of areas in which it has been applied. Much of this demand comes from the manufacturing process of the compound. In most cases, ammonium paratungstate is created by separating tungsten from its ore. Through a number of heating and atmospheric processes, the tungsten is reduced to the powdery form of ammonium tungstate. Manufacturers take this powder and fuse it into a variety of objects, including bars, wires and rods.
Much of the uses for this compound can be tied directly back to its connection with tungsten-type products. Ammonium tungstate is a component in such forms of the element as tungsten oxides, the aforementioned tungsten metal powder, and tungsten acid. These varieties are then factored in across the industrial spectrum to find their myriad of uses.
With the highest melting point of all metals, tungsten is often employed in high-temperature situations such as arc-welding and heating elements in high-temperature furnaces. Another variety, tungsten carbide, is prized for its hardness and its use in mining and meta working. Some of these include creating drills and cutting tools.
Some of the more everyday uses include application as a coloring agent in ceramics, an ingredient in fireproofing fabrics, and an increasingly widespread use as a water-absorbent gel.
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