Tungsten Powder - 3 ouncesa
Pinewood Derby Weight

What is Tungsten?

The word "tungsten" literally means "a substance of high density", and is derived from the Swedish language, "tung", meaning "heavy," and "sten", meaning "stone." The name is appropriate as Tungsten is a metal with one of the highest densities. In fact, tungsten is 1.7 times more dense than lead. Only gold, platinum, and a few other rare and expensive metals have a similar density.

Applications of Tungsten

Tungsten is completely non-toxic and environmentally friendly so it is gaining increased use in weighting applications where lead is not appropriate. For example lead has been banned in many streams, so tungsten is often substituted for lead weight on fishing flies. The high density coupled with the non-toxic nature makes tungsten an ideal metal for this application.

For similar reasons tungsten is a superior product for weighting pinewood derby cars. Tungsten is 3.2 times the density of the zinc ("Lead Free") weighting material often used on pinewood derby cars, thus it enables tremendous flexibility in the design of the car. Coincidentally, tungsten has been used by NASCAR for the metal roll cage and as frame ballast to lower the center of gravity of the race car.

How to Use this Product

Tungsten Powder is finely ground tungsten. In this powdered form, it has approximately the same density as solid lead. When mixed with epoxy, the density decreases.

Tungsten Powder can be used for pinewood derby car weighting as follows:

  • Pour the powder into a hole in the car, and then seal the hole. By weight, this is virtually a direct substitute for lead.

in Car Bottom

  • Mix the powder with epoxy, and then fill cavities with the resulting tungsten epoxy.b This results in a density slightly less than lead.


  • Make castings by mixing the powder with epoxy, and then pouring the mixture into a mold which has been sprayed with a release agent. This results in a density slightly less than lead.

    The casting in the photo was made in the bottom of a small bottle. Elmer's Slide-All was used as the release agent.

a3 ounces nominal weight - actual weight ranges from 2.95 to 3.05 ounces.

bUse 30 minute epoxy, and mix only the amount that can be used within 30 minutes. Mix the epoxy first in a disposable container. Slowly stir the tungsten powder into the epoxy until the desired consistency is reached. Pour or ladle into the cavity immediately.

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