Tungsten Carbide vs. Titanium

Although Tungsten was originally used for light bulbs in the early 1900’s we know today that Tungsten is a highly versatile and necessary metal for many industrial tasks.  Over the years we have expanded Tungsten’s uses to include sharpening other metals, plastics, ceramics, mining operations and construction. One factor that makes this metal particularly unique is Tungsten has the highest boiling point of all metals and second highest of all elements second to Carbon. This is a metal of choice for many military applications due to Tungsten’s durability and high resistance to corrosion. This metal is used in missiles, rockets, anti-tank armor piercing rounds, micro-shrapnel and more. By utilizing carbon in the manufacturing process engineers are able to create Tungsten Carbide. This product is significantly harder than Tungsten. On the Mohs hardness scale Tungsten is 7.5 while Tungsten Carbide is 9.
Titanium is another popular metal and is recognized as a staple material for a large number of industries. Although Tungsten Carbide and Titanium have similar properties there are distinct advantages with Tungsten Carbide. Tungsten Carbide has a melting point of 5200°F while Titanium has a melting point of 3000°F. Tungsten Carbide has a hardness of 9 Mohs and Titanium is only a 6 on the Mohs hardness scale. In terms of density Titanium is signify less than Tungsten Carbide. Titanium has a density of 4.506 g/cm³ and Tungsten Carbide has a density of 15.63 g/cm³.
Titanium does offer superior tensile strength of 434 MPa compared to Tungsten Carbide’s 344.8 MPa. When weight is a critical factor then Titanium is a superior choice because Tungsten Carbide is four times heavier than Titanium. However Tungsten Carbide is the clear choice for applications involving industrial machining such as cutting, tooling and abrasive processes. Tungsten Carbide rings are considered a better choice compared to Titanium rings because the superior hardness levels of Tungsten Carbide makes the ring virtually unscratchable.
Newer alloys involving tungsten carbide and nickel-silicon-boron mixtures have recently hit the market and these innovations have been proven to offer superior abrasion resistance in applications involving oil and gas production. Examples of these improved products include drill bit holders, mud motors, stabilizers and kicker pads. These alloys are also engineered for versatile welding capabilities and require lower voltage and heat levels. Another update of the Tungsten industry is there has been a crack down on illegal Tungsten mining in Columbia. The Columbia government has recently closed a Tungsten mine which was run by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia. Previously this Tungsten went to several major multinational technology and automotive companies.