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Tungsten Carbide Application

Nanoparticles research has come up with innovative solutions that are useful in the field of cosmetics, bio medicine, and electronics; which were not possible with elements in their original states.

Tungsten Carbide Application: Tungsten carbide (WC) nanoparticles are available as nanodots, dispersed and passivated ultra pure forms. These nanoparticles are insoluble in cold water, exhibit a strong resistance to acids and have a high elastic modulus. These nanoparticles should be stored under cool, dry, vacuum conditions. Tungsten is a Block D, Period 6 element and carbon is a Block P, Period 2 element.

Tungsten Carbide Application

Tungsten carbide (WC) is a promising catalytic material for the gas diffusion electrode, since its catalytic behavior resembles platinum, but its stability, anti-toxic and oxidation resistance are much higher than other metals.

Tungsten Carbide Application

Researchers compared the stability of the most commonly used carbides in electrochemical applications: tungsten carbides (WC) in electrolytic solutions by varying pH values, where WC exhibits the largest region of stability at a relatively lower pH value. It has been reported that tungsten carbide exhibits high catalytic activity in electro-catalysis and is a promising material for hydrogen evolution reactions and hydrogen oxidation reactions in electro-catalysis.

Platinum (Pt) nanoparticles supported by WC substrate show remarkable catalytic activity for Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), has anti-poisoning properties for carbon monoxide in methanol electro-oxidation and exhibits improved methanol oxidation performance.

Additionally, tungsten carbide particles act as a counter-electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells, shown to improve catalytic activity for iodide reduction, and when combined with Titania in nanocomposites, have shown synergistic effects for electro catalysts.


Tungsten carbide (chemical formula: WC) is a chemical compound (specifically, a carbide) containing equal parts of tungsten and carbon atoms. Tungsten Carbide (WC) Nanoparticles, nanodots or nanopowder are black spherical high surface area particles. Nanoscale Tungsten Carbide Particles are typically 10 - 100 nanometers (nm) with specific surface area (SSA) in the 100 - 130 m2/g range.

In its most basic form, tungsten carbide is a fine gray powder, but it can be pressed and formed into shapes for use in industrial machinery, cutting tools, abrasives, armor-piercing rounds, other tools, instruments and jewelry.


Chemical Symbol WC
Molar Mass 195.86 g/mol
Melting point 2870 °C
Boiling point 6000 °C
Density 8.64 kg/cm3
Electronic config. Tungsten [Xe] 4f14 5d4 6s2
Electronic config. Tungsten [Xe]4f14 5d4 6s2 Carbon [He] 2s2 2p2


There are two well characterized compounds of tungsten and carbon, WC and tungsten semi carbide, W2C. Both compounds may be present in coatings and the proportions can depend on the coating method. At high temperatures WC decomposes to tungsten and carbon and this can occur during high-temperature thermal spray, e.g., in high velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF) and high energy plasma (HEP) methods. Oxidation of WC starts at 500–600 °C (932–1,112 °F). It is resistant to acids and is only attacked by hydrofluoric acid/nitric acid (HF/HNO3) mixtures above room temperature.


There are lots of metal compounds that are heavily used for various applications across the planet, but there are none that possess the particular attributes of tungsten carbide. This marrying of the element carbon and tungsten creates an alloy that is resistant to heat, rust, scratches and pitting. Carbide also boasts an extremely high density with a hardness second only to diamond, excellent conductivity, all while boasting an overall strength that surpasses that of steel three times over. This compound is easily molded into many shapes, can be sharpened with precision, and can be melded with or grafted to other metals without issue. Tungsten carbide scrap is also one of the best candidates for recycling in its class, making the alloy extremely valuable for all sorts of applications, including those discussed below:

Industrial Alloys

Roughly 17% of tungsten carbide usage comes from the creation of specialized alloys and composite materials that contain other metals in them. Carbide can be combined with nickel, iron, silver, and copper to create materials that are utilized in commercial construction applications, electronics, industrial gear making, radiation shielding materials, and the aeronautical industry.

Mill Products

Just over 10% of tungsten carbide is used exclusively for the manufacture of mill products including various end mills and mill inserts. These products vary in size and shape depending on the material they will be coming in contact with, but all are used for applications in grinding and milling. Because carbide is so hard and can be easily molded, it is possible to create accessories for precise milling applications that will yield coarsely grinded material or the finest powder.


The above three applications make up more than 90% of carbide usage across the globe. However, one of the newest applications for tungsten carbide that is gaining popularity every day for making jewelry. Naturally, the hardness of carbide makes it an attractive alloy to use for crafting rings, pendants, earrings and other jewelry, but when cut and polished correctly, the material is actually stunningly beautiful as well. In fact, tungsten based wedding and engagement rings are becoming all the rage lately and since tungsten carbide is cheaper than gold, it is cost effective as well.

Surgical Tools

Tungsten Carbide Application: The use of carbide in the medical industry offers another important application for the material because the tools that are made from it are often being used to save lives. Surgical tools are one of the most notable uses for grafted carbide as the stem of the tool is typically made of stainless steel or titanium, while the blade, tip, or end is made from carbide. Not only can carbide blades be sharpened to have a much finer edge due to the material’s hardness, but its resistance to pitting and rusting helps to give tools tipped with it much greater longevity. Other Uses

Tungsten Carbide Application: Carbide is used for many other applications including tipping trekking or ski poles as well as cleats, the manufacture of fishing weights, and many cutting and pulverizing mechanisms for recycling machines. Always remember that regardless of what you might use carbide for that you recycle the material appropriately after it has run its course. Less than 10% of the world’s tungsten is found in the United States and it is up to each and every one of us to do our part in order to ensure that we are relying on foreign material as little as possible. The financial incentives that come from recycling carbide for you as well as the implications for the industry domestically are worth the time and effort.

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