Purification of tantalum by plasma arc melting. The level of oxygen and carbon impurities in tantalum was reduced by plasma arc melting the tantalum using a flowing plasma gas generated from a gas mixture of helium and hydrogen. The flowing plasma gases of the present invention were found to be superior to other known flowing plasma gases used for this purpose.
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to the Regents of the University of California. The government has certain rights in the invention.