Tungsten Carbide Recycling

2022-08-06 Share

Tungsten Carbide Recycling


Tungsten Carbide can significant improvement over hardened steel. Tungsten Carbide is known for its ability to withstand high temperatures, severe friction, a hardness surpassed only second to diamond, and reliability unknown prior to the present.

Tungsten is an important and rare metal with a concentration in the earth’s crust of about 1.5 parts per million. Due to its unique combination of mechanical and thermal properties, tungsten is considered a valuable material that must be sustainably managed and utilized.

Fortunately, tungsten carbide scrap metal is, on average, richer in tungsten than its virgin ore, making recycling tungsten economically sensible, more so than mining and refining it from scratch. Every year, about 30% of all tungsten scrap is recycled, pointing to its high level of recyclability. Yet, there remains substantial room for improvement in the recycling process.

As a process all its own, carbide recycling takes worn, broken Tungsten Carbide pieces along with filings and sludge; carbide recyclers procure the scrap, sort, and process it to go directly to manufacturing to be made into new items. The current scrap carbide pricing is an incentive for the end users to properly save and deliver their material to carbide recyclers. The return on investment of the tools and time are amply rewarded once the material is shipped out.

Tungsten has been recycled from the tungsten carbide scrap for decades, and the recycling processes have evolved to the point that tungsten can be extracted from virtually all tungsten-containing scrap. However, how effective, energy-efficient and sustainable these processes are is a different matter. With the ever-increasing demand for tungsten and consequently the increased focus on mining and recycling it, it is important to consider ways of doing this sustainably to ensure the continuous availability of tungsten for future generations.

During tungsten production, tungsten-containing byproducts called “new scrap” are generated, and the processes to recover this tungsten have been perfected over time. The major challenge now lies in extracting tungsten from “old scrap”, which are tungsten products that have reached the end of their service life and have been collected to be recycled. 

The need for recycling tungsten is apparent due to its rarity. While some of these recycling processes have been around for decades, most are tailored for specific compositions of tungsten scrap and the forms (powder, sludge, carbide burrs, worn drill bits, etc.) in which they come in.

We encourage you to continue separating your scrap carbide into dedicated storage containers. Be sure to contact your carbide recycling processor of choice to obtain current scrap carbide pricing, and arrange for your material to be sent directly out.

If you are interested in tungsten carbide products and want more information and details, you can CONTACT US by phone or mail at the left, or SEND US MAIL at the bottom of the page.

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