Tungsten carbide Global Industry Expert Opinions Analysis, Emerging Opportunities, Market Trends and Growth Drivers 2020

Tungsten Carbide is an inorganic chemical compound which is represented using the chemical formula WC. Historically, tungsten carbide is referred to as wolframite ore. Tungsten carbide comprises of equal parts of carbon and tungsten atoms. In its most basic form tungsten carbide is usually available as a fine gray powder. Tungsten carbide powder is easily pressed to form different shapes for use in abrasives, cutting tools, armor-piercing rounds, industrial machinery, instruments, jewelry and other tools. Tungsten carbide is about two times stiffer than steel. Tungsten carbide is known to be much denser than steel or titanium. Tungsten carbide has a stiffness of about 550 GPa as per measured using Young’s modulus. Tungsten carbide’s hardness is easily comparable with ruby, sapphire or corundum. Tungsten carbide can be polished or finished using abrasives that have superior hardness. Tungsten carbide is usually polished using cubic boron nitride in the form of wheels, powder and compound. Tungsten carbide is oxidized within the temperature of 500-600oC. Tungsten carbide is resistant to acids however; it gets attacked by hydrofluoric acid and nitric acid mixtures above room temperature. Tungsten carbide also reacts with fluorine gas at room temperature and chlorine gas at temperature above 400oC. However, tungsten is highly unreactive to dry hydrogen up to its melting point. Tungsten carbide is known to readily dissolve in diluted hydrogen peroxide. Tungsten carbide has a boiling point at 6,000oC and melting point at 2,870oC. Tungsten carbide has a low electric resistivity.

Tungsten carbide is widely used in manufacturing cutting tools used in various machineries. Owing to their high resistance to abrasions, there is a huge demand for the chemical for manufacturing cutting tools. Tungsten carbide cutting surfaces are used in the machineries through material such as stainless steel and carbon steel. Tungsten carbide is also used in the tools that are at higher risk of getting worn off. Tungsten carbide is widely used in high quantity production runs. Tungsten carbide when used in manufacturing several cutting tools offer better finish on parts and also provides high temperature resistance which in turn helps in achieving faster machining. Owing to the superior properties of finished products many manufacturers are using tungsten carbide to manufacture a wide range of cutting tools. Tungsten carbide also used to manufacture ammunition. This chemical is used in manufacturing the armor-piercing ammunition. Especially, in those regions where uranium is not available or is politically unacceptable. Owing to depleting uranium reserves many ammunition manufacturers are shifting their focus towards tungsten carbide. Tungsten carbide has become a popular material used to manufacture a range of bridal jewelry mainly due to its high resistance to scratching as well as due to its hardness. Tungsten carbide is also used to manufacture a range of surgical instruments such as scissors, blade handles and forceps among others. Even though, tungsten carbide is more costlier than its stainless steel counter parts it is widely used in various applications as it offers high performance than most of its alternatives. Thus, growing demand for high quality products is expected to boost the overall growth of the tungsten carbide market.

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Asia Pacific is expected to be one of the major manufacturers of tungsten carbide owing to the presence of large number of manufacturers having huge production capacity in China. On the other hand, North America is expected to be the largest consumer of tungsten carbide.

Some of the major manufacturers of tungsten carbide include American Elements, China Minmetals Corporation and Buffalo Tungsten among others.