Foundations and Applications of Tantalum
Tantalum is one of the rare metals in the transition metals group. It is a metallic-looking element in silver and bluish color. Metal form is easy to process, durable. It can be processed even cold. It is a hard metal with high corrosion resistance. It has similarities with niobium in the same ore in terms of its chemical properties.
Tantalum is a rare element. It is an indispensable metal of capacitors used in many electronic devices, especially mobile phones. It performs critical functions in electronic devices. Tantalum, which is also found in jet engines, is also found in a dental implant.
Minerals of Tantalum
Columbite is the most important mineral of tantalum. It is also called “coltan”. It takes place together with niobium in this mineral. Mineral extracts containing tantalum are called “tantalite”. Mixture of coltan, columbite and tantalite, a pale black mineral.
Tantalum Reserve and Production
Countries with tantalum reserves are as follows; Congo, Portugal, Brazil, Austria, Madagascar, Namibia, Thailand, Nigeria, Mozambique, and Canada.
As seen in the figure, Rwanda provides approximately 50% of the tantalum production from ore.
Application of Tantalum
Tantalum alloys are used especially in turbine blades. Parts of vacuum furnaces, electronic capacitors, metallic equipment of chemical factories and nuclear reactors are some of the areas where tantalum is used. The electrode can be in the form of foil and sintered material.
The most important use area of tantalum is capacitors, also known as “energy storage” and “capacitors”. Capacitors serve important functions in many electronic devices, especially mobile phones.
Tantalum; it is a suitable metal for critical parts of products such as mobile phones, computers, CD and DVD players, game systems and automotive electronics. It also plays a very important role in high-tech semiconductors. Tantalum is applied to substrates of semiconductors and is used in areas such as printer spray assembly, magnetic storage media. It can be made as a very thin wire that can be used in the evaporation of some metals such as aluminum. It is widely used as part of metal implants and surgical instruments, as it is resistant to body fluids and biocompatible. It is a useful component for corrosive materials, chemically reacted vessels, and pipes. There are also biomedical applications; used in the production of stents and artificial bones.
The Importance and Economic Value of Tantalum
Tantalum as an investment should be considered as it finds uses in many applications in various industries.
Despite the constantly increasing demand, supply balance is not clear for the coming years. For this reason, it will need to be recovered to supply the demand. The price of tantalum also depends on demand. Increasing demand will increase the price.
When check at the table of annual price changes per ton of tantalum, while its value increased significantly from time to time, it also decreased. However, when we evaluate it as a result, it is concluded that it is one of the elements of the future and one of investments with its widespread use in high-tech products and electronic devices and equipment that now exist in almost all of our lives. Tantalum is an extremely useful, rare metal that can be considered as an investment opportunity.