Tungsten carbide

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A gray, powdery, sintered material made by heating Tungsten and Lampblack at 1500-1600 C. Tungsten carbide is extremely hard and resistant to heat, wear, and chemicals. Tungsten carbide is used for abrasives, rock drill bits, metal cutting tools and ball point pen nibs. Tungsten carbide tools stay hard and sharp even at red heat temperatures.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Duromet; Carboloy; Wimet


  • Toxic by inhalation.
  • Contact may cause irritation.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Dissolves in mixture of hydrofluoric and nitric acid.
  • Insoluble in water.
  • Burns in fluorine at room temperature
Composition WC
CAS 12070-12-1
Mohs Hardness 9.5 +
Melting Point 1780 C
Density 15.6 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 195.86
Boiling Point 6000 C


Properties of Common Abrasives

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 829
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 9945
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • R.M.Organ, Design for Scientific Conservation of Antiquities, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 1968

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