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  #51  
Old 09-19-2016, 05:34 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is online now
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Originally Posted by Bones Daley View Post
The most interesting new use for tungsten carbide IMO is in the production of high-end slides (bottlenecks) and picks for guitarists . http://www.wolframslides.com.
In case anyone's curious about the name, wolframite is the main ore of tungsten, and the reason for the chemical symbol W.

I have a little cylinder of tungsten, about two inches across and two inches tall. It weighs about 4 lbs. Lead would only be just over 2 lbs. Aluminum feels like silver-colored plastic in comparison.
  #52  
Old 09-19-2016, 06:34 PM
markn+ markn+ is offline
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Tungsten is clearly the way to go. Sorting the chart that SciPhi posted by density, the top entries are
Code:
Iridium,22650
Osmium,22610
Platinum,21400
Plutonium,19816
Tungsten,19600
Gold,19320
Uranium,18900
Except for tungsten, these are all considered precious metals, with prices in the hundreds of dollars per ounce. Tungsten is pretty close to the top but only costs about $20 per pound, in bulk. I have a cool little machined tungsten sphere about 1" in diameter that weighs over 5 ounces and cost me about $20.

I once visited the Long Now Foundation workshop in San Francisco where they had some of the components of their 10,000 year clock on display. There was a tungsten pendulum bob, about 4 inches in diameter, that weighed over 20 pounds. When I first tried to lift it, I thought it was bolted to the table.

--Mark
  #53  
Old 09-19-2016, 06:44 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quoth Duke of Rat:

Heavy metal zombie, and the OP never got the correct answer: The best nose weight is a lighter tail.
Ale, in post 43.
  #54  
Old 09-19-2016, 06:46 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is online now
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Originally Posted by markn+ View Post
I once visited the Long Now Foundation workshop in San Francisco where they had some of the components of their 10,000 year clock on display. There was a tungsten pendulum bob, about 4 inches in diameter, that weighed over 20 pounds. When I first tried to lift it, I thought it was bolted to the table.
I've touched the same bob that you have (I might have a slight obsession with tungsten). There are light and dense materials out there... but tungsten is the only one (given that it's the only one I've handled significant quantities of) that feels abnormally heavy. Like, as you say, it's been bolted to the table--or that you've been transported to a high-gravity planet. It has tremendous momentum as well.

After playing with a chunk of tungsten for a minute or so, it starts to feel normal. But afterward, everything else feels abnormally light, like it's been replaced by a cheap plastic replica.
  #55  
Old 09-19-2016, 07:01 PM
astro astro is offline
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Not commonly available when the OP was posted but now all over the place are tungsten carbide rings for a few bucks each.

Density - 15.63 g/cm³
  #56  
Old 09-19-2016, 07:18 PM
Duke of Rat Duke of Rat is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Ale, in post 43.
Huh, even replying to me. I must be losing it.
  #57  
Old 09-20-2016, 12:27 AM
Francis Vaughan Francis Vaughan is offline
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OMG want!!!! But you can buy a perfectly useful guitar for the price of the that slide.

Engineering toolbox is a great site. It distils a huge amount of useful informations into a useful lump.

On the aviation side, one would note that depleted uranium and tungsten counterweights are commonly used in aircraft of all sizes. Typically on control surfaces to tune resonant modes away from the F word. (For any aeronautical engineer the F word is Flutter. ) famously the first few 747s built had a few hundred kilograms of depleted uranium in the engine pylons to help tune the wing twisting. In racing yacht design depleted uranium and tungsten were used in the keel bulb. For the same draft the centre of mass is lower than if lead is used, and the surface area, and thus drag, smaller. They were banned in an effort to keep costs down, although they remained in use on those boats built with them before the rule change.

Last edited by Francis Vaughan; 09-20-2016 at 12:29 AM.
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