- Types of Cemented Carbide--
The Cemented Carbides are a range of composite materials, which consist of hard carbide particles bonded together by a metallic binder.
The proportion of carbide phase is generally between 70-97% of the total weight of the composite and its grain size averages between 0.4 and 10 μm.
Tungsten carbide (WC), the hard phase, together with cobalt (Co), the binder phase, forms the basic Cemented Carbide structure from which other types of Cemented Carbide have been developed. In addition to the straight tungsten carbide – cobalt compositions – Cemented Carbide may contain varying proportions of titanium carbide (TiC), tantalum carbide (TaC) and niobium carbide (NbC). These carbides are mutually soluble and can also dissolve a high proportion of tungsten carbide. Also, Cemented Carbides are produced which have the cobalt binder phase alloyed with, or completely replaced by, other metals such as iron (Fe), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), molybdenum (Mo), or alloys of these elements.
There are three individual phases which make up Cemented Carbide. In metallurgical terms, the tungsten carbide phase (WC) is referred to as the a-phase (alpha), the binder phase (i.e. Co, Ni etc.) as the b-phase (beta), and any other single or combination of carbide phases (TiC, Ta/NbC etc) as the g-phase (gamma). Other than for metal cutting applications, there is no internationally accepted classification of Cemented Carbides.
---Cemented Carbide Grade--
Because Cemented Carbides are mainly made up from WC and Co (i.e. two phases), although small additions or trace levels of other elements are often added to optimize properties, the Grades are classified mainly according to their cobalt content and WC grain size, though some times take into consideration of the trace elements.
These grades are classified according to their Cobalt content and WC grain size and are often called the "straight grades". They have the widest range of strength and toughness of all the Cemented Carbide types and this is in combination with excellent wear resistance.
The grades with binder content in the range 10-20% by weight and WC-grain sizes between 1 and 5 μm have high strength and toughness, combined with good wear resistance.
The grades with binder contents in the range 3-15% and grain sizes below 1 μm have high hardness and compressive strength, combined with exceptionally high wear resistance.
While the grades which utilize a range of ultra-fine WC grain sizes (< 0.5 μm). With such fine, uniform grain sizes, a unique combination of hardness, wear resistance and toughness can be achieved.
Due to the different compositions, the carbide’s differs a lot in the physical properties among the grades, this just leads to the various application of Carbide to many industries.