The Metal with the Highest Melting Point

The Metal with the Highest Melting Point

Strength, durability, and resistance to extreme conditions are often the measure of value for metals. So, tungsten stands out for a property that places it above all others: it has the highest melting point of any metal. It is also known as Wolfram. It melts at an astonishing temperature of 3422°C (6192°F).

This extraordinary characteristic not only makes tungsten unique but also invaluable across a range of applications, from the filaments in light bulbs to the engines of spacecraft.

Related reading: Application Of Tungsten And Tungsten Alloys

Why Tungsten Is The Metal With The Highest Melting Point?

The reasons behind tungsten’s unparalleled melting point are deeply rooted in its atomic structure and the nature of its chemical bonds.


Tungsten has a robust atomic structure with an electron configuration that significantly contributes to its high melting point. It is the interaction of its 5d electrons and the strong metallic bonds they form that gives tungsten its remarkable heat resistance.


The metallic bonds in tungsten are exceptionally strong due to the presence of five electrons in its 5d orbital, which are available for metallic bonding. This strong bonding is further reinforced by the relativistic effects, which become significant in heavier elements like tungsten.


As electrons move at velocities close to the speed of light, their mass increases, leading to a contraction of the electron orbitals, particularly the 6s orbital. This contraction results in electrons being held closer to the nucleus, strengthening the metallic bonds and requiring more energy (in the form of heat) to break them, thus raising the melting point.


Moreover, tungsten’s body-centered cubic (BCC) crystal structure efficiently packs atoms together in a way that maximizes these strong metallic bonds. The BCC structure, combined with tungsten’s dense atomic arrangement, contributes significantly to its high melting point. Additionally, there is a covalent character to the bonds in tungsten, with the d-electrons capable of forming directional bonds that add to the strength and stability of its atomic structure.

Other Refractory Metals with High Melting Points

While tungsten tops the chart, other refractory metals also boast impressively high melting points, making them indispensable in many high-temperature applications. These include:


  • Molybdenum (Mo): With a melting point of 2623°C (4753°F), molybdenum is widely used in the aerospace industry, electronics, and as a material in high-temperature furnaces.
  • Tantalum (Ta): Melting at 3017°C (5463°F), tantalum is known for its corrosion resistance and is used in chemical processing equipment, as well as in electronic components.
  • Rhenium (Re): This metal has a melting point of 3186°C (5767°F), making it useful in high-temperature turbine engines and as an alloying element to improve the properties of other metals.
  • Niobium (Nb): Niobium’s melting point is 2477°C (4491°F), and it finds applications in superconducting magnets and nuclear reactors.


These metals, like tungsten, are characterized by their strong metallic bonds, dense atomic packing, and in some cases, the addition of covalent bonding characteristics, all of which contribute to their high melting points.

Related reading: Metal With High Melting Point | Top 10 Metals With High Melting Points


Tungsten serves as the metal with the highest melting point. Its capacity to withstand extreme temperatures has made it a critical material in industries that operate at the cutting edge of technology. While other refractory metals also possess high melting points and are invaluable in their own right, tungsten’s unique properties set it apart, ensuring its continued significance in both current applications and those yet to be imagined.


As we push the boundaries of science and engineering, the exploration of these metals’ properties and potential applications will undoubtedly continue to be an area of intense interest and innovation. Advanced Refractory Metals (ARM) is a premier supplier of Tungsten products. We specialize in providing tailored custom materials. Hope that you can get the perfect metal products with high melting point.

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