Periodic Table


Atomic number: 74
Atomic weight: 183.84
Symbol: W
Group number: 6
Electronic configuration: [Xe].4f14.5d4.6s2


Pure tungsten is a steel-gray to tin-white metal. Tungsten has the highest melting point and lowest vapour pressure of all metals, and at temperatures over 1650°C has the highest tensile strength. The metal oxidises in air and must be protected at elevated temperatures. It has excellent corrosion resistance and is attacked only slightly by most mineral acids.

General information

Discoveror: Fausto and Juan José de Elhuyar
Date discovered: 1783
Discovered at: Spain
Meaning of name: From the Swedish words "tung sten" meaning "heavy stone" (the origin of the symbol W is "wolfram ", named after the tungsten mineral wolframite)

Physical data

Standard state: solid at 298 K
Colour: greyish white, lustrous
Density of solid at ambient temperature/kg m-3: 19250
Molar volume/cm3: 9.47

Radii /pm

Atomic: 193
Covalent (single bond):
Pauling radius for the ion [W]-: no data

Valence shell orbital radius maxima (Rmax)
orbital s p d f
radius165.0no data77.622.5


Both values are quoted on the Pauling scale.

Pauling: 2.36
Allred Rochow: 1.40

Crystal Structure

structure: bcc (body-centred cubic)

The following CrystalMaker image represents the solid state structure. For most elements, the most stable allotrope is illustrated. Try WebElements version 2 for interactive virtual reality and CHIME images.


Temperatures (/K)

melting point: 3695
boiling point: 5828

Enthalpies /kJ mol-1

fusion: 35.0
vaporization: 807

single bond enthalpies:
W-F W-Cl W-Br W-I W-W
no data no data no data no data no data

Ionization enthalpies /kJ mol-1

Number Enthalpy


This section gives some data for naturally occurring isotopes.
Nominal mass Accurate mass % natural abundance
180W179.946701 (5)0.13 (4)
182W181.948202 (3)26.3 (2)
183W182.950220 (3)14.3 (1)
184W183.950928 (3)30.67 (15)
186W185.954357 (4)28.6 (2)

Further Information

Copyright 1997 Mark Winter
Department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7HF, England.

The current version of this document is at http://www.shef.ac.uk/~chem/web-elements-I/W.html