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Tungsten carbide is a specialized material that is typically alloyed with steel to increase its hardness and rigidity. Tungsten carbide is often used as a cutting tool to help cut harder materials, including those used in the mining industry.
solid carbide material properties
The hardness and toughness of a cemented carbide are mainly determined by the grain size, relative proportions of binder and carbide, and the addition of alloying components (various mixed carbides). These factors can be controlled and optimized to produce a grade that will work best for the specific application and process conditions.
WC Grain Size: controlling hardness and toughness
The size of the tungsten carbide grains after sintering influences the hardness and toughness of the resulting material. A higher WC grain size results in a stronger material that will resist more notch tensions and impact stress.
Co-rich binder: controlling resistance to plastic deformation and toughness
The amount of cobalt in a carbide grade controls the material’s resistance to notch tensions and impact stress, as well as its toughness. A lower binder content will make the material more brittle and more prone to cracking.
Cobalt is a ductile metal that can be replaced by other elements in a carbide grade to improve its wear and oxidation resistance. Examples of such elements are iron aluminide or titanium aluminum nitride.
Carbide grades with these additives can be used for a wide range of applications, including drills, end mills, parting off and grooving inserts, as well as grades for drilling and finishing in carbon, titanium, stainless steel, and heat-resistant superalloys. Depending on the application, these can be combined with coatings that provide further protection from wear and oxidation.