Tungsten Heavy Alloy


The Metallurgy of Tungsten Heavy Alloys

Tungsten Heavy Alloys (WHA) parts are manufactured from very fine, high purity metal powders – typically tungsten, nickel, and iron. The blended metal powder is compacted under high pressure (up to 30 ksi) to form a specific shape that is very close to the geometry of the final part. WHA can subsequently be subjected to post sinter heat treatment and mechanical deformation to increase tensile properties and create directional micro-structures.

Why Use Tungsten Heavy Alloys 

Tungsten Heavy Alloys (WHA) provides a unique combination of density, mechanical strength, machinability and corrosion resistance. These versatile materials provide distinct advantages when compared to alternate high density materials, as seen in the table below.

Material Density (g/cc) Tensile Strength Stiffness Machinability Toxicity Radioactivity Cost
WHA 17.0-19.0 Moderate High Excellent Low None Moderate
Lead 11.4 max. Very low Very low Very low High None Low
Uranium 18.7-18.9 Moderate Medium Special High Present High

ASTM B777: Tungsten Heavy Alloy Standard

ASTM B777 is a standard established for Tungsten Heavy Alloys (WHA). The Tungsten Heavy Alloys were categorized into four classes. Each class represents a percentage amount of Tungsten.

ASTM B777 Classification Percent Tungsten (W) Alloy
Class 1 90 %
Class 2 92.5 %
Class 3 95 %
Class 4 97.5 %

Typical Applications of Tungsten Heavy Alloys

  • Radiation Shielding
  • Counterbalance Weights
  • Military Ordnance
  • Outdoor Sports
  • Boring Bars