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Tungsten carbide It is composed of carbon and tungsten. The molecular formula for this compound is WC, and the molecular weight is 195.85. Tungsten carbide is a hexagonal black glass with a metallic sheen and hardness that are similar to those of diamond. It is also a good heat conductor and a good electrical conductor. Tungsten carbide is not soluble with water, hydrochloric, or sulfuric acid. However, it can be dissolved in a mix of nitric and hydrofluoric acids. Pure tungsten carbide is fragile. However, if you add a little titanium, cobalt or another metal, it can become less brittle.

Tungsten Carbide Preparation

The tungsten is mixed in a ball-mill with carbon black and the tungsten has been pressed into a plate. It can also be heated up to 14001700 degrees in an induction oven. In the hydrogen flow, initially W2C is produced. The reaction continues at high temperatures to produce WC. Or, first tungsten is decomposed thermally in a CO atmosphere between 650 and 1000degC, to get tungsten, then carbon monoxide is added at 1150degC, to yield tungsten carburide. W2C is produced by temperatures above this point.
Tungsten trioxide, WO3, is reduced by hydrogenation and prepared as tungsten (particle size average 35mm). Press-forming is done by applying pressures of approximately 1t/cm2 to a mixture of tungsten and carbon black (dry-blended for about 10 hours in a mill) with an equimolar proportion. Pressurized material blocks can be placed into a crucible and heated in a hydrogen stream using a graphite resistance or induction electric heater to 14001700°C.

As the reaction is incomplete due to the lower reaction temperature (and primarily because of unreacted tungsten and intermediate W2C), WC (tungsten carburide) is left behind. The tungsten must be heated at the temperature above. The maximum temperature must be determined according the particle size. For coarse particles, with an average particle diameter of approximately 150 mm the reaction takes place at a temperature between 1550 and 1650degC.

Tungsten Carbide Application

Tungsten carbide is used in many applications, including high-speed cutters, furnace structural materials for jet engines, cermet material, resistance heating components, etc.

Tungsten carbide is used in the manufacture of cutting tools, wear-resistant components, melting crucibles (for metals like copper, cobalt, or bismuth), and wear-resistant semi-conductor films.

Tungsten carbide is used for super-hard material, and also as wear-resistant material. It is able to form solid solutions with a variety of carbides. WC-TiC-Co cement carbide tools were widely used. It can also reduce the sintering temp and maintain excellent performance when used as an additive to NbC C and TaC C ternary system carburides. It can also be used for aerospace materials.

Tungsten carbide is produced by combining tungsten anhydride with graphite under a reducing environment at high temperatures of 14001600. By hot pressing sintering, or hot isostatic sintering, dense ceramic products can also be achieved.

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