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 black hexagonal crystalline material with metallic luster. It has a similar hardness to 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 nitric and hydrofluoric acids. Pure tungsten carbide is fragile. By adding titanium, cobalt or other metals, it can be made less fragile.
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, first tungsten is decomposed thermally in a CO atmosphere between 650 and 1000degC, to get tungsten, then carbon monoxide is added at 1150degC, to yield tungsten carburide. W2C is produced by temperatures above this point.
The Tungsten Trioxide WO3 (average particle size of 35mm) is reduced by hydrogenation and prepared as tungsten sand. Press-forming is done by applying pressures of approximately 1t/cm2 to a mixture of tungsten and carbon black (dry-blended for 10 hours in a mill) with an equimolar proportion. Carburizing tungsten carbide is achieved by placing the pressurized material into a crucible/pan of graphite and heating it in a hydrogen stream. (Use pure hydrogen at a dewpoint -35).
As the reaction is incomplete due to the lower reaction temperature (mainly), the unreacted tungsten and intermediate W2C remains besides the WC (tungsten carburide). The tungsten must be heated at the temperature above. The maximum temperature must be determined based on 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 a solid solution that can be formed with many different carbides. WC-TiC-Co cermented-carbide tools are used widely. It can also reduce sintering temps and improve performance by adding it to NbC C and TaC C ternary system carbides. It can also be used for aerospace materials.
Tungsten carbide is produced by combining tungsten anhydride with graphite under a reducing atmospheric at temperatures between 14001600. By hot pressing sintering, or hot isostatic sintering, dense ceramic products can also be achieved.
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