Tungsten carbide is a powerful material that is used to make everything from drill bits, grinding burrs and lathe cutting tools to specialized surgical instruments. It is an alloy of tungsten and carbon, which gives it a combination of the properties of metals and ceramics.
Pure tungsten is a black hexagonal crystal with metallic luster and hardness similar to diamond. It is a good conductor of electricity and heat.
When tungsten is alloyed with carbon, however, the hardness increases dramatically. The result is a material that rivals diamond for its toughness and strength.
This alloy also has excellent corrosion resistance, meaning it can be used in harsh environments where other materials might fail. This makes tungsten carbide the perfect choice for cutting and drilling applications.
Besides its use in manufacturing, tungsten carbide is also used in jewelry. It has a high hardness and a very tough finish, which is perfect for making jewelry with a smooth and polished appearance.
Aside from its industrial uses, tungsten carbide is also popular in the medical field. Surgical tools like hemostats, forceps and blade handles are often made with this material to ensure their performance and durability.
Other tungsten applications include the glowing filament of incandescent light bulbs and the starter filament of fluorescent and cathode ray tubes, as well as many other electric contacts and X-ray targets. It is also a popular ingredient in dry lubricants, high-speed tool steels and hard metal.