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Heavy Metal on a Tungsten Basis With a High Radiation Absorption Capacity Is an Ecological Alternative to Toxic Lead

von Cetto, Sebastian, Freiherr, FH

doi: 10.1097/JCE.0000000000000262

EU Directive 2011/65/EU (Restriction of Hazardous Substances 2) regulates the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. Lead is ranked at the top of the list, even higher than mercury and cadmium. The heavy metal used as radiation shielding or for anti-scatter grids due to its high atomic mass is highly toxic and does not break down easily, which is why a weight proportion of only 0.1 percent is permitted in new electronic and electric equipment. It also has a low melting point of just 327°C, constituting an additional hazard in case of fire. The Bavarian company Wolfram Industrie offers an innovative, more environmentally friendly alternative with Triamet, a heavy metal alloy on a tungsten basis: thanks to its specific high density and the resulting radiation absorption capacity, the dimensionally stable product that is available in both an iron-nickel and a copper-nickel binder phase even shields against gamma radiation. While tungsten is normally difficult to process, it can be shaped into blanks using a powder-metallurgical process in this form. Subsequently these blanks can be processed further with little effort.

Corresponding author: Sebastian Freiherr von Cetto, FH, is production manager and authorized signatory of Wolfram Industrie. He can be reached at

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

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