Making the Grades

We produce more than 50 carbide grades from cobalt, nickel, tantalum and tungsten. They come in a wide range of binder concentrations and particles sizes. Our tungsten carbide grades use cobalt binders ranging in concentrations up to 30%, and offer nominal particle sizes from 0.55 microns to 10 microns. The superfine carbides are ideal for applications requiring sharp edges, and our broad range of tungsten carbide with tantalum reduce galling in your metal-forming operations.

As a major producer of nickel carbides for environments where corrosion, oxidation and wear push your tooling to the limit, we maintain the purity of our carbides through a dedicated nickel room, and through nickel production processes that eliminate the potential for contamination.

Our unique combination of carbide grades, binder concentrations and production controls enables us to meet the most demanding material specifications.

About Carbide

Cemented carbide is produced by mixing a metal carbide, such as tungsten, with a metallic binder material that is usually cobalt, nickel or a combination of both. This mixture is generally held together by an organic binder and formed into a desired shape, known as a preform.

The preform is then placed into a furnace for sintering, which melts the metallic binder material around the carbide particles. During sintering, the preform shrinks volumetrically about 40%. The last step is grinding the preform to its final dimensions.

Carbide Properties

Cemented carbide products have excellent mechanical and physical characteristics.

Abrasion Resistance

Carbide's exceptional resistance to abrasion is its most important property. In abrasive applications, carbides can outlast some wear-resistant steel alloys by a factor of 100 to 1.

Deflection Resistance

Cemented carbides have a high modulus of elasticity that provides minimum deflection when exposed to bending forces. In fact, the modulus of elasticity is three times that of steel.

Corrosion Resistance

Since carbides are generally chemically inert (considering binding material as a factor), they can be used successfully in many chemical and corrosive environments.

Torsional Strength

With a torsion modulus twice that of high-speed steel, carbide is the preferred material for rotating applications.

Compressive Strength

Some grades of carbide with cobalt binder perform flawlessly under ultra-high compression and have been used very successfully in pressure applications at up to one million psi.


Carbide grades with higher binder contents have excellent resistance to impact.

Low Temperature Wear Resistance

Even at cryogenic temperatures as low as -453°F, carbides retain good wear resistance and offer a relatively low coefficient of friction where lubricants cannot be used.

High Temperature Wear Resistance

At 1,000°F, carbides still maintain over 90% hardness. Certain grades can even retain significant strength at 2,000°F (higher at intermittent temperatures).