Tungsten vs Tungsten Carbide - What's the Difference

2022-07-25 Share

Tungsten vs Tungsten Carbide - What's the Difference



From Wikipedia, we can know that tungsten, which also can be called wolfram, is a chemical element with the symbol W and atomic number 74. Tungsten is a rare metal found naturally on Earth almost exclusively as a compound with other elements. It was identified as a new element in 1781 and first isolated as a metal in 1783. Its important ores include scheelite and wolframite, the latter lending the element its alternate name.

Tungsten occurs in many alloys, which have numerous applications, including incandescent light bulb filaments, X-ray tubes, electrodes in gas tungsten arc welding, superalloys, and radiation shielding. Tungsten's hardness and high density make it suitable for military applications in penetrating projectiles. Tungsten compounds are often used as industrial catalysts.


Tungsten carbide (chemical formula: WC) is a chemical compound (specifically, a carbide) containing equal parts of tungsten and carbon atoms. In its most basic form, tungsten carbide is a fine gray powder, but it can be pressed and formed into shapes through sintering for use in industrial machinery, cutting tools, abrasives, armor-piercing shells, and jewelry.

Tungsten carbide is approximately twice as stiff as steel, with Young's modulus of approximately 530–700 GPa, and is double the density of steel—nearly midway between that of lead and gold. It is comparable with corundum in hardness and can be polished and finished only with abrasives of superior hardness, such as cubic boron nitride and diamond powder, wheels, and compounds.

Tungsten carbide is called “the teeth of industries” and is widely used in drilling, cutting, and wear parts. The product includes tungsten carbide rods, carbide strips, carbide tips, carbide buttons, carbide inserts, end mills, carbide molds, carbide spare parts, carbide dies, carbide balls, valves, etc.


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