Carbide Tools – A Complete Guide
There’s no shortage of tools in the manufacturing industry today, and carbide tools are perhaps the most popular type. These are essentially made from a mix of carbon and another element.
They are strong, durable, and an excellent investment. Carbide itself is three times stronger than steel and comes second to diamonds in terms of hardness. They can be used for industrial, engineering, and even domestic purposes.
On this page, you’ll find an in-depth informational guide on these tools. We’ll give you a rundown of everything, from what they are to what they’re used for.
What Is A Carbide Tool?
Carbide tools are essentially any sort of tools made from tungsten carbide. You’ll find many different types of them in the market, such as cemented or carbide tipped tools.
Typically, these tools are used to cut materials in the manufacturing process. In particular, carbide cutters used for non-metallic surfaces like wood, marble, and plastic.
Tungsten carbide tools are two times denser and tauter than steel. They’re also more durable, which makes them a better investment. They are more expensive than other tool options, but given what you get for the money, it seems to be worth the cost.
Most of them come with a removable cutting edge. So, if your tool’s edge gets blunt, it can be replaced easily. They also come in a range of different sizes, and you can buy them in single or double cutting bases.
Why Use Carbide Tools?
There’s a vast range of reasons to use carbide tools. We’ve already brushed upon them, but let’s discuss them in more detail now.
- They retain their hardness even at high temperatures
- Improve surface finish
- Very resistant to wear and tear
- Provide very precise cuts
- A higher feed rate compared to other industrial tools
Are Carbide Tools Made From Purely Carbide?
No, carbide tools are made from a mix of carbon and other substances, such as Tungsten, titanium, and tantalum. They are made by pressing carbon and a second substance together in a hydraulic press and then heating the resulting compound.
The first material to ever be mixed with carbon was Tungsten back in the 1900s. The creation of this mixture marked the beginning of carbide tools. Since then, they’ve been heavily used for industrial purposes.
We’ve already talked about how tungsten carbide is solid and durable. However, titanium carbide also makes the tools abrasive and gives them a smooth precision. Unlike tungsten carbide, though, they can also cut through steel and other metal-based surfaces.
Different from tungsten and titanium carbide, tantalum carbide is not very sturdy. Hence, this material isn’t used to create tools. Instead, it’s used to just coat them.
Some other types of carbon compounds are aluminium carbide, boron carbide, calcium carbide, and silicon carbide.
What Else Is Carbide Used For?
Carbide is used for more than just the manufacturing of tools. Here’s a list of ways of carbide is currently used:
- Surgical devices
- Industrial alloys
- Mill inserts
The reason carbide is used across various industries is because it’s strong, durable, and flexible. The flexibility of carbide means that it can easily be moulded into different shapes. Tungsten carbide is also a readily available compound that different industries can get their hands on.
Carbide is a material you’ll find anywhere and everywhere! From wedding rings, kitchen knives to industrial cutting machines, carbide has numerous uses. These tools have a long lifespan and are incredibly strong.
However, make sure you operate them carefully. Their sharp cutting edge can make them challenging to work with as well. So, make sure you educate yourself thoroughly before you start using carbide tools.
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