What is hardmetal?

What is hardmetal?

The hardmetal also known as Widia, Cemented Carbide and Tungsten Carbide is a material used in mechanical processing. Hardmetal consist of hard particles of Tungsten Carbide which are embedded in a metal matrix (usually cobalt).

The most important process to produce hardmetal is the sintering process. Basically the fine powders of Tungsten Carbide and Cobalt are mixed, pressed and then heated maintaining a high pressure. So the granules of the powders bound together to form a single piece.

Consequently, hardmetals are not real metals, but carbides (80-95%) bound by a metal. So 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.

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pietra minerale di Scheelite