What is Tungsten Carbide and Why Use It?

Carbide inserts

In the world of materials and for those who work with them, tungsten carbide is of major technical relevance. The price of tungsten carbide can fluctuate, depending on market prices and supply and demand. Depending on the market at any given time, you can basically expect to sell your tungsten carbide for roughly $19.95 per pound.

Tungsten carbide is an inorganic compound that is non-natural and composed of tungsten (W) and carbon (C). It is the mono-tungsten carbide, which is stable at room temperature, that is of the most relevance and is used most often. The properties it exhibits which are most striking are a high density and a very high melting point of 2870 degrees Celcius. It also brings with it a high hardness and the metal-like, high values of thermal and electric conductivity. It is approximately twice as stiff as steel and can be polished and finished with abrasives that are superior in their own hardness. The ability to shape, polish, and finish this compound are among the many reasons tungsten carbide has such value.

In its most abrasive forms, tungsten carbide is a fine, gray powder. However, it can be formed and pressed into many different shapes to be used in industrial machinery. Cutting tools, abrasives, armor-piercing rounds of ammunition, and jewelry are only a few of its potential uses. Because of the many potential uses, the price of tungsten carbide has remained relatively stable over the years. Since it is also extremely useful as a recycled material, you can sell your tungsten carbide hard scrap at the market value almost any time with very little effort.

When you sell your carbide, it will be recycled and used by companies to make new applications such as tungsten drill bits, carbide inserts, and even the rotating ball used in ball point pens. During World War II, carbide was used by the Allied forces in making ammunition to repel and destroy German tanks. The Germans used the compound as well, but it was in short supply. When the Allies put it to their own use, the tide of the war began to turn.

Now, it is not uncommon to find tungsten carbide as the main ingredient in fine jewelry such as wedding bands for both men and women. It is a sturdy material but since it can be polished and shaped so finely, it looks beautiful and lasts for a very long time.

The tungsten carbide recycling industry is one that continues to thrive because of the many different uses of the compound. If you have tungsten carbide scrap, the price of tungsten carbide can usually be depended on to remain relatively steady. Of course, like gold, aluminum, and silver, the market price will depend on supply and demand which can vary.

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