Many tools for cutting, shaping, drilling and sharpening are now made using Tungsten Carbide for uses in Jewellery Making, Stone Carving, Glass Art and Wood Carving because of it's extreme hardness, toughness and durability. So what's it all about I hear you ask. Read on and we'll tell you a little bit more ...
Tungsten Carbide Micro Twist Drills
What is Tungsten Carbide?
Tungsten Carbide is an alloy of Tungsten and Carbon, usually mixed with a binder which is most commonly Cobalt. It is grey in colour.
It is about the same hardness as corundum or sapphire so to sharpen or cut it you would need to use diamond tools.
The amount of cobalt used will determine how hard and tough the Tungsten Carbide will be. i.e the more Cobalt used in the process, the harder, but less tough the Tungsten Carbide. The higher the concentration of Cobalt used, the tougher, but more soft the Tungsten Carbide will be.
How is Tungsten Carbide Made?
It's made by Powder Metallurgy which is a process of blending powdered materials together into a shape which is then heated and compressed.
What is Tungsten Carbide used for?
As it's popularity is increasing, so too are it's uses.
- Cutting and Drilling Tools
- Mining equipment
- Aeronautical products
- Horseshoe pins
- Jewellery such as rings and necklaces
- Sports equipment such as ski's, trekking poles and bicycle studs
- Aviation, automative and shipbuilding equipment
- Construction and agricultural equipment
- Surgical, scientific and laboratory equipment
- Household goods such as razor blades, lightbulb filaments and ball point pens
See some more jewellery, tools and their uses on our Tungsten Carbide Pinterest board.
Tungsten Carbide Gravers
What are the advantages of Tungsten Carbide?
- It is much, much harder than HSS (high speed steel) for instance, therefore it wears less and can be used to cut harder materials
- It is very durable
- Very scratch-resistant
- It is very adaptable because of the way it is made which means it can be controlled when it's being furnaced to determine how hard you wish it to be.
- It will retain it's hardness under very high temperatures whereas something such as HSS will soften under high temperatures causing it's performance to decline.
Small Tungsten Carbide Burrs