Tungsten Carbide

Tungsten Carbide (WC) is an extremely hard material with a high melting point that can be pressed and formed into shapes for use in cutting tools, abrasives, armour-piercing rounds and industrial machine parts. In many applications it is used a matrix with a cobalt binder.

Tungsten Carbide is around twice as stiff as steel with a Young's modulus of over 500 GPa and a low electrical resistivity of around 0.2 mW.m. In terms of hardness it is comparable to Sapphire or Ruby, ranking 9 on Mohs scale and requires cubic boron nitride or diamond tools and abrasives to be ground and polished into finished components.

Tungsten Carbide applications:

  • Cutting tool inserts
  • Abrasives
  • Armour-piercing rounds
  • Industrial machine parts

Property Value

Chemical Formula WC

Density 12 g/cm3
Hardness 1500 Knoop
Modulus of Elasticity 90 x 106 psi
Compressive Strength 580 kpsi
Poisson's Ratio 0.24

Volume Resistivity 2.5 x 10-8 Ohm-cm

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion 6.0 x 10-6/°C
Thermal Conductivity 42 W/mK