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Tungsten carbide (CTC) is a hard material used for cutting, abrasion and impact resistance. It’s often combined with other metals as an alloy to produce specialized components for different applications. It is more commonly known as tungsten carbide due to its use in carbide tipped tools such as saws, drill bits and other industrial machinery.
Unlike elemental tungsten, which has a low melting point, tungsten carbide has a high melting point of around 5,400 degrees Celsius. The high melting point makes tungsten carbide more durable, which is useful in harsh environments where other materials are more susceptible to damage from heat and wear and tear.
While it’s not as hard as diamond, tungsten carbide ranks about 9 on the Mohs scale. It also has a high Vickers number, which measures how well the material resists impacts and abrasions. Its strength and toughness are superior to most melted, cast and forged metals, including steel.
Tungsten carbide’s hardness is often measured using the Rockwell scale, which uses a standardized indentation technique to determine how the material behaves under varying loads. The higher the value on this scale, the harder the material. This attribute is important in carbide tipped tools, as the harder the tip, the faster and more efficiently it cuts through metals and other materials. Tungsten carbide’s durability also makes it a popular material for construction equipment, rock drilling, metal cutting, coal mining and oil drilling applications. It can be produced in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet specific application requirements, as well as deposited onto wear or abrasion surfaces through oxyacetylene welding, thermal spraying, or brazing.