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Explore the Many Uses of Tungsten

By on June 20, 2017

Tungsten recycling business

Are you looking for a place to sell your tungsten carbide? There are companies who offer tungsten carbide scrap recycling and are always looking for tungsten heavy alloys. If you’re an industry that uses tungsten carbide or tungsten alloy to make your products, partner up with one of these companies, that buy everything from hard scrap like inserts, drills, compacts to soft scrap sludge, like sludge and swarf. Tungsten carbide is an in-demand material that’s used in a variety of ways over many different industries. Mainland China and reserves in North America provide the majority of tungsten and tungsten heavy alloys are often treasured because of their density applications that offer a one of a kind combination of strength, density, and resistance to corrosion, among other things.

What Should I Know About Tungsten Carbide?
Tungsten carbide is made up of equal parts of tungsten and carbon and is often seen as tungsten powder — a fine powder that’s gray in color. However, it can be pressed and molded into other forms to be used in industrial machinery, abrasives, jewelry, cutting tools, and weaponry that can pierce armor.

Natural tungsten only occurs when it becomes combined with calcium, iron, or manganese. It was first discovered in 1781, but wasn’t used in an industry until 193. It can be made available in more than a dozen different grades, which makes it increasingly versatile, as it can be used in a variety of applications.

Furthermore, it’s incredibly hard, just behind diamonds, according the Moh’s hardness scale. Tungsten carbide is between 8.5 and 9, while diamonds have a hardness of 10. It also has twice the stiffness of steel and twice the density — just between lead and gold.

The most common binders for tungsten carbide are cobalt and nickel, which are added between 3 to 30% in weight. Interestingly enough, we keep much of the scrap tungsten — over 65% — and what we don’t keep gets exported for recycling purposes.

What Are Some Functions of Tungsten Carbide?
You probably have come into contact with tungsten carbide daily without realizing it. For example, did you know that the rolling tip on your ballpoint pens is made of tungsten carbide?

The manufacturing industry relies on tungsten carbide for cutting tools that can withstand high temperatures and are resistant to abrasion. They tend to keep their edge better and is incredibly hard. Tungsten is also valued as ammunition, especially when armor-piercing ammunition is needed, thanks to its hardness.

The mining industry also uses tungsten carbide in drill bits, hammers, and roller cutters, and the sports industry uses tungsten carbide in bikes, ski poles, roller skates, and snowmobiles, among other sports gear.

It’s probably no surprise that tungsten is also often used for surgical instruments because of their superior performance to stainless steel. And lastly, tungsten can also be used in jewelry — it’s especially popular as wedding rings, because it’s resistant to scratches thanks to its hardness. The color and high polish also are attractive to many couples.

Talk to Me About Tungsten Heavy Alloys

Tungsten heavy alloys are alloys created from tungsten and a nickel-iron or nickel-copper matrix through a process of powder metal or sintering. These tungsten heavy alloys are prized for their high density, ability to be formed and machined easily, high elasticity, good conductive abilities, and resistance to expanding based on temperature, and corrosion resistance. Everything from the aviation and aerospace industries to car manufacturers use tungsten heavy alloys in their businesses.

With so many uses, it’s probably no surprise that there’s plenty of tungsten scrap. If you’re unsure of what to do with it, consider selling it back to companies who are actively looking for scrap tungsten.

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