Friday, 14 January 2011
Tungsten carbide (WC) is an inorganic chemical compound containing equal parts of tungsten and carbon atoms. Tungsten carbide is often simply called carbide. In its most basic form it is a fine grey powder, but it can be pressed and formed into shapes for use in industrial machinery, tools, abrasives, as well as jewellery.
Tungsten carbide is approximately three times more rigidity than steel, with a Young's modulus of approximately 550 GPa, and is much denser than steel or titanium. It is comparable with corundum (α-Al2O3 or sapphire) in hardness and can only be polished and finished with abrasives of superior hardness such as silicon carbide, cubic boron nitride and diamond amongst others, in the form of powder, wheels and compounds.
Tungsten Carbide is an incredibly versatile material that comes in numerous different types to give varying properties. These varying characteristics are the main reason for its popularity in a range of applications and industries.
Fact of the month –
Tungsten Carbide falls between 8.5 and 9.0 on Moh's hardness scale, making it almost as hard as diamond.