Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers


Tungsten Carbide

Last updated: November 30, 2018

What Does Tungsten Carbide Mean?

Tungsten carbide is a chemical compound that contains equal parts of tungsten and carbon atoms. The tungsten carbide material is highly suited for industrial purposes because of its high strength, toughness and hardness. Its name is derived from the Swedish terms “tung” (meaning heavy) and “sten” (meaning stone) and is primarily used in the form of cemented tungsten carbides.


Corrosionpedia Explains Tungsten Carbide

Tungsten carbide is primarily used in the form of cemented tungsten carbide in industries in which cobalt is used to bind the “cement” in the cemented tungsten carbides because cobalt effectively wets the tungsten carbide grains during liquid phase sintering. As a result, cobalt increases the strength and toughness in a sintered product by removing residual porosity. However, there is a high probability that failure of this sintered cemented tungsten carbide material may occur in a harsh, corrosive environment. This will happen because cobalt reacts chemically with the corrosive agents. During the chemical reaction in the corrosive environment, the dissolution of cobalt binder at an exposed surface may take place, which results in a loose-knit skeleton of tungsten carbide grains with little structural integrity. This process is often referred to as cobalt leaching.


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