Hard metal (also known as Widia, Cemented Carbide or Tungsten Carbide) is a material used in mechanical processing consisting of hard particles of Tungsten Carbide which are embedded in a metal matrix (usually cobalt).
The hard metal is produced through a sintering process. Basically the fine powders of the components are mixed, pressed and then heated maintaining a high pressure so that the granules of the powders bound together to form a single piece.
This means that hard metals are not real metals, but carbides (80-95%) bound by a metal. Tungsten Carbide is the preferred material for all those parts that have to withstand any wear and tear, such as abrasion, erosion, corrosion and metal seizure.
For this reason it comes with a very high degree of hardness. It has a high pressure strength, resistance to deformation and high temperatures. These physical characteristics are particularly useful in metal cutting applications, allowing a long life to tools that would be prematurely worn out if made with different materials.