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Hard Metals

Hard metals are primarily used as cutting tools or wear parts. The hard metal tools are used in the automotive industry (cutting tool inserts), oil & gas sector (oil drilling/exploration), electronics (PCB drills), dies & mould industry (forming, punching dies), etc.

They consist of fine tungsten carbide particles, which act as the hard and abrasion-resistant component and are bonded with tough, comparatively soft metallic cobalt (Co) or Nickel (Ni). The structure of two-phase WC/Co hard metals is conventionally defined by key parameters such as:

  • Grain size of the WC phase
  • Co binder (Grain size /shape)
  • Volume (or wt) fraction and composition of the Co binder-phase

Umicore provides a full range of fine metallic powders suitable for use in hard metal applications:

  • Both spherical & elongated type cobalt powders from 0.6µm to 3.5µm, under powder or granulated form
  • Tungsten carbide powder from 0.7µm to 5µm, possibly with doping
  • Filamentary nickel powder of 2.5µm

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