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It is composed of carbon and tungsten. The molecular formula for this compound is WC, and the molecular weight is 195.85. Tungsten carbide is a hexagonal crystal that has a metallic luster. Its hardness and durability are similar to those of diamond. It is also a good heat conductor and conductor for electricity. Tungsten carbide is not soluble with water, hydrochloric, or sulfuric acid. However, it can be dissolved in a mix of hydrofluoric, nitric, and hydrochloric acids. Pure tungsten carbide is brittle, but if you add a little titanium, cobalt or another metal, it can be made less brittle.
Tungsten Carbide Preparation
The tungsten is mixed in a ball-mill with carbon black and the tungsten has been pressed into a plate. It can also be heated up to 14001700 degrees in an induction oven. W2C first forms in the hydrogen flow, and then continues to react under high temperatures to produce WC. Or, tungsten is first thermally decomposed under a CO atmosphere between 650 and 1000degC, to yield tungsten, which is then heated to 1150degC with carbon monoxide, to yield tungsten carburide. W2C is produced by temperatures above this point.
Tungsten trioxide, WO3, is reduced by hydrogenation and prepared as tungsten (average particle size of 35mm). Press-forming is done by applying pressures of approximately 1t/cm2 to a mixture of tungsten and carbon black (dry-blended for about 10 hours in a mill) with an equimolar proportion. Pressurized material blocks can be placed into a crucible and heated in a hydrogen stream using a graphite resistance or induction electric heater to 14001700.
As the reaction is incomplete due to the lower reaction temperature (mainly), the unreacted W and the intermediate W2C (tungsten carbide) remain. The tungsten must be heated at the temperature above. The maximum temperature must be determined according the particle size. For coarse particles, with an average particle diameter of approximately 150 mm the reaction takes place at a temperature between 1550 and 1650degC.
Tungsten Carbide Application
Tungsten carbide is used in many applications, including high-speed cutters, furnace structural materials for jet engines, cermet material, resistance heating components, etc.
Tungsten carbide is used in the manufacture of cutting tools, wear-resistant components, melting crucibles (for metals like copper, cobalt, or bismuth), and wear-resistant semi-conductor films.
Tungsten carbide is used for super-hard material, and also as wear-resistant material. It is able to form solid solutions with many different carbides. WC-TiC-Co bonded carbide tools were widely used. It can also reduce the sintering temp and maintain excellent performance when used as an additive to NbC C and TaC C ternary system carburides. It can also be used for aerospace materials.
Tungsten carbide is produced by combining tungsten anhydride with graphite under a reducing atmospheric at high temperatures of 14001600. By hot pressing sintering, or hot isostatic sintering, dense ceramic products can also be achieved.
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