Tungsten carbide is referred to as an ultra hard substance and is utilised in everything from punches and dies through to cutting tools and inserts. It has properties which distinguish it from other materials and help carbide lend itself to the many applications for which it's used often in place of much shorter lived tool steels components!
Carbide is made by setting the grains of tungsten carbide into a cobalt matrix, a bit like dissolving sugar in tea. The cobalt is referred to as a matrix and the resultant mix of tungsten and cobalt is called a metal matrix composite or MMC. The amount of cobalt used has a direct bearing on the hardness of the end product and as such you can fine tune the tungsten carbide to each individual application. This then leads to the many different grades of tungsten carbide and variations within each grade too! It is only through years of involvement within the industry can a person become quite adept at choosing the correct grade and sub-grade for particular applications – especially those which have never utilised carbide previously.
We at Delta work very closely with some of the largest and best tungsten carbide producers in the world, including Carbide International and Kennametal. We utilise our own in-house knowledge and expertise to advise our customers on which grade would best suit their own needs and can call upon the extensive resources of our suppliers should we encounter an unusual requirement by one of our customers.