Tungsten carbide, referred to hard metal, known for its exceptional combination of hardness and abrasive resistance. Tungsten Carbide Hard Metals are primarily produced using a Powder Metallurgy process, whereby the powdered forms of tungsten carbide and cobalt are mixed using ball mills, a binder material is added to hold the powders together during the next stage of the pressing. The hardness of Tungsten carbide can be up between 8.5 and 9, coming in behind diamonds at a solid 10.
According to the different alloy content and heat treatment in the manufacturing process, Tungsten carbide can be divided into different series. The A and D series (A-2, D-2, etc) contain more chromium and are thus more wear resistant. The S series contain more silicon and are thus more shock resistant. The M and T series contain either more Molybdenum or Tungsten and so are high-speed steels, with much greater hot strength. All of these require substantially higher temperatures for hardening than O-1 and are not really suitable for home-shop hardening.
Areas of application
Tungsten Carbides have a wide range of application in many industry sectors known for their exceptional combination of hardness and toughness such as such as metal machining, wear parts for mining and oil industries, metal forming tools, cutting tips for saw blades and wedding rings, ball point pens and watch cases.