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    Tantalum Application

    Source: https://www.tanb.org/about-tantalum/applications-for-tantalum

    Tantalum consumption is dominated by capacitors for electronic equipment. Capacitors are electrical components that store energy electrostatically in an electric field, and are used in a wide variety of electric and electronic products. Capacitors are an essential part of almost all electronic products, ranging from smart phones to appliances in our homes, electronic systems in our cars and wind turbines producing electricity.

    Additionally, tantalum wire is consumed by the capacitor manufacturers as the anode lead. Tantalum metal is also used for sintering tray assemblies and shielding components for the anode sintering furnaces.

    Capacitor grade tantalum powder provides about 25% of the market use of all tantalum shipments. Additional quantities related to capacitors are consumed by tantalum wire for the anode lead as well as for sintering tray assemblies and shielding components for the anode sintering furnaces.

    Other non-capacitor uses in electronics create demand for tantalum mill products for sputtering targets and tantalum chemicals for audio and video components.

    Tantalum Product
    Technical Attributes/Benefits
    Tantalum carbide
    Cutting tools
    Increased high temperature deformation, control of grain growth
    Lithium tantalate
    Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) filters in mobile phones, hi-fi stereos and televisions
    Electronic signal wave dampening provides for clearer and crisper audio and video output
    Tantalum oxide
    - Lenses for spectacles, digital cameras and mobile phones
    - X-ray film
    - Ink jet printers
    - Ta2O5 provides a high index of refraction so lenses for a given focal strength can be thinner and smaller
    - Yttrium tantalate phosphor reduces X-ray exposure and enhances image quality
    - Wear resistance characteristics. Integrated capacitors in integrated circuits (ICs)
    Tantalum powder
    Tantalum capacitors for electronic circuits in:
    - medical appliances such as hearing aids and pacemakers;
    - automotive components such as ABS, airbag activation, engine management modules, GPS;
    - portable electronics e.g. laptop computers, cellular/mobile phones, video cameras, digital still cameras;
    - other equipment such as DVD players, flat screen TVs, games consoles, battery chargers, power rectifiers, cellular/mobile phone signal masts, oil well probes
    High reliability characteristics and low failure rates, operation over a wide temperature range from -55 to +200°C, can withstand severe vibrational forces, small size per microfarad rating/electrical storage capability
    Tantalum fabricated sheets and
    - Chemical process equipment including lining, cladding, tanks, valves, heat exchangers
    - Cathodic protection systems for steel structures such as bridges, water tanks
    - Corrosion resistant fasteners, screws, nuts, bolts
    - Spinnerettes in synthetic textile manufacture
    Superior corrosion resistance - equivalent in performance to glass
    Tantalum fabricated sheets, plates, rods, wires
    - Prosthetic devices for humans - hip joints, skull plates, mesh to repair bone removed after damage by cancer, suture clips, stents for blood vessels
    Attack by body fluids is non-existent; highly bio-compatible
    Tantalum fabricated sheets, plates, rods, wires
    - High temperature furnace parts
    Melting point is 2996°C although protective atmosphere or high vacuum required
    Tantalum ingot
    - Sputtering targets
    Applications of thin coatings of tantalum, tantalum oxide or nitride coatings to semi-conductors to prevent copper migration
    Tantalum fabricated sheets, plates, rods, wires
    - High temperature alloys for:
    - air and land based turbines (e.g. jet engine discs, blades and vanes)
    - rocket nozzles
    Alloy compositions containing 3-11% tantalum offer resistance to corrosion by hot gases, allow higher operating temperatures and thus efficiency and fuel economy
    Tantalum ingot
    - Computer hard drive discs
    An alloy containing 6% tantalum has shape memory properties
    Tantalum ingot
    - Explosively Formed Projectile for TOW-2 missile
    Balance of density and formability allow for a lighter and more efficient system