Tungsten Carbide

Definition - What does Tungsten Carbide mean?

Tungsten carbide is a chemical compound that contains equal parts of tungsten and carbon atoms. The tungsten carbide material is highly suited for industrial purposes due to its high strength, toughness and hardness. Its name is derived from the Swedish terms “tung” which means heavy and “sten” which means stone. It is primarily used in the form of cemented tungsten carbides.

Petropedia explains Tungsten Carbide

Tungsten carbide is primarily used in the form of cemented tungsten carbide in industries, whereby cobalt is used to bind cement in cemented tungsten carbides because cobalt effectively wets the tungsten carbide grains during liquid phase sintering. As a result, cobalt increases the strength and toughness in a sintered product by removing residual porosity. However, there is a high probability that failure of this sintered cemented tungsten carbide material may occur in a harsh or corrosive environment. This is because cobalt reacts chemically with the corrosive agents. During the chemical reaction in the corrosive environment, the dissolution of cobalt binder at an exposed surface may take place, which results in a loose-knit skeleton of tungsten carbide grains with little structural integrity. This process is often referred to as cobalt leaching.

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