Tantalum is a refractory metal with a melting point of 5425˚F (2996˚C). It is a tough. Ductile metal which can be formed into almost any shape. It is used in corrosion resistant applications for environments no other metal can withstand.
Tantalum is the most corrosion resistant metal in common use today. The presence of a naturally occurring oxide film on the surface of Tantalum is the reason for its extreme corrosion resistant properties. It is inert to practically all organic and inorganic compounds. Its corrosion resistance is very similar to glass as both are unsuitable for use in hydrofluoric acid and strong hot alkali applications. For this reason Tantalum is often used with glass lined steel reactors as patches, dip tubes, piping and overhead condensers. Tantalum is inert to sulfuric and hydrochloric acid in all concentrations below 300˚F. Attack up to 400˚F is not significant and is in common use up to 500˚F. Tantalum is not attacked by nitric acid in concentrations up to 98% and temperatures up to at least 212˚F. Tantalum has proven itself to be totally inert in many applications.
The corrosion resistance, Heat transfer properties and workability of Tantalum make it a perfect construction material for a wide range of equipment and applications. Tantalum is used in heat exchangers, condensers, columns, reactors, helical coils, pipe spools, valve linings and a variety of other components exposed to extremely corrosive fluids. It can be fabricated into most TEMA design shell and tube heat exchangers and bayonet heaters for chemical, petrochemicals and pharmaceutical applications. Tantalum can be clad to carbon steel to form a bimetallic material of construction. The Tantalum is used as a corrosion barrier while the substrate is used to contain pressure and stress. The corrosion resistance of Tantalum together with the low cost and high strength of carbon steel can often be the most economical choice for high pressure equipment.
Tantalum is the material to consider in any application where corrosion is a factor and the long-term benefits of reduced downtime, increased life expectancy and profitability is important.