What is Tungsten Carbide and How is it used?
- Carbide is a cemented, composite material with unique characteristics of wear resistance, heat resistance, strength, toughness and hardness that make it ideal for many industrial applications, especially as a material for cutting tools. Tungsten carbide powder is formed and sintered, using cobalt as a binder, to produce carbide blanks in many shapes and sizes. These carbide blanks are ground in various geometries to produce cutting tools for both general purpose and specialized application. Carbide flat blanks are often used to fabricate carbide-tipped tooling. The flat blank is brazed to a steel body; then the cutting edge is ground into the carbide tip. Carbide round blanks are typically ground into solid carbide cutting tools.
- The composition of carbide can be varied to change the material characteristics as desired for different applications. The three main variables are the tungsten carbide powder grain size, the amount of tungsten carbide powder and the amount of cobalt. Carbide flat blanks are commonly supplied in a C-2 material comprised of 94% tungsten carbide, 6% cobalt with an average grain size of 1.2 microns. Standard carbide round blanks are made of micrograin material with 90% tungsten carbide, 10% cobalt and .8 micron average grain size. Ultra-micrograin carbide round blanks are made of material with 88% tungsten carbide, 12% cobalt and .4 micron average grain size. This material is both harder and stronger than the standard micrograin. For more information on common grades of carbide click here