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The Classification and Applications of Cemented Carbide
Nov 16, 2018

Cemented carbide can generally be classified into three categories according to its composition and performance: tungsten-cobalt, tungsten-titanium-cobalt, tungsten-titanium-tantalum (yttrium), and the most widely used in production are tungsten-cobalt and tungsten-titanium-cobalt hard alloys.

a. Tungsten-cobalt type hard alloy

The main components are tungsten carbide (WC) and cobalt. The grades are coded YG , and the percentage value of cobalt content is added. For example, YG6 represents a tungsten-cobalt type hard alloy having a cobalt content of 6%, and the tungsten carbide content is 94%.

b. Tungsten-titanium-cobalt type hard alloy

The main components are tungsten carbide (WC), titanium carbide (TiC) and cobalt. The grades are coded YT, followed by the percentage of titanium carbide content. For example, YT15 represents a tungsten-titanium-cobalt-based cemented carbide having a titanium carbide content of 15%.

c. Tungsten-titanium-tantalum (niobium) type hard alloy

These types of cemented carbides are also known as general-purpose hard alloys or universal hard alloys. The main components are tungsten carbide (WC), titanium carbide (TiC), tantalum carbide (TaC) or niobium carbide (NbC) and cobalt. The grade is represented by the code YW followed by the ordinal number.



1) Cutting Tool Material

Tungsten carbide is very abrasive and can withstand higher temperature than high speed steel, which makes it an ideal material for making turning tools, milling cutters, planers, drill bits, etc. Tungsten-cobalt type hard alloy is suitable for short chip processing of ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals and processing of non-metal materials such as cast iron, cast brass, bakelite and so on, while tungsten-titanium-cobalt hard alloy is suitable for the long chip processing of ferrous metals such as steel. It has been proved that hard alloys contains more cobalt is more suitable for roughing, and that contains less cobalt is suitable for finishing. Besides, general-purpose solid carbide has much longer processing life for cutting difficult-to-machine materials such as stainless steel than other hard alloys.

2) Mold Material

Cemented tungsten carbide has good impact toughness, fracture toughness, fatigue strength, bending strength and good wear resistance and can be used for manufacturing tungsten carbide wire drawing dies, carbide cold heading dies, carbide extrusion dies and punching dies.

In general, the relationship between wear resistance and toughness of cemented carbides is contradictory: an increase in wear resistance will result in a decrease in toughness, and an increase in toughness will inevitably lead to a decrease in wear resistance. 

There are multiple grades of carbide dies and it is necessary to be sure that you get the right grades to ensure your project is completed successfully. If the selected grade is prone to early cracking and damage during use, it is better to use a grade with higher toughness; if the grade selected is prone to early wear and damage during use, it is better to use a grade with higher hardness and better wear resistance. . The following grades: YG6C, YG8C, YG15C, YG18C, YG20C from left to right, the hardness is reduced, the wear resistance is reduced, and the toughness is improved; otherwise, the opposite is true.

3) Measuring Tools and Wear Parts

Carbide is also a common material used in the manufacture of measuring tool parts, precision bearings for grinding machines, centerless grinding machine guides and guide pilots, and the other wear parts alike.

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