Tantalum is a shiny grey, extremely hard, stretchable heavy metal from the vanadium group, which is very pliable and weldable. Tantalum is among the high-melting-metals, is extremely resistant to acids (except hydrofluoric acids) and has a high absorptive capacity for hydrogen and nitrogen. In nature, tantalum occurs only in bonded form and together with niobium.
Tantalum is used in electrical engineering, chemistry, high temperature furnaces, evaporating plants and in nuclear engineering. Rust and acid-resistant steels have tantalum added as an alloy component. Tantalum carbide is used for producing hard metals.