How Tungsten is used in Water-Hardening Tool Steels

Tungsten carbide jewelry, such as rings, has gained significant popularity due to the fact that it is more affordable than jewelry made from other metals, such as gold, platinum or silver. Aside from affordability, it has many characteristics that are appealing, such as its durability. Tungsten’s strength makes it an element that is far more useful than just the jewelry industry. In fact, it has been used and will continue to be used in many other industries because of its characteristics.

Red Tungsten Screw Driver

Currently, the tungsten steel alloy is widely used to make tools of all sorts and for a large range of purposes. Alloys are formed when elements, such as tungsten, are combined with other elements. The alloy takes on characteristics of the elements used in the mixture, giving the overall alloy characteristics of all of the parts. In the tool industry, tungsten steels are used in many different ways.

Tungsten steel is used to make what are known as “water-hardening tool steels.” These tools tend to have a high resistance to surface wear, but do not stay hard at higher temperatures. These types of tungsten steel tools are commonly seen in drills and files.

High speed steels are common in the industry. These are comprised of, in part tungsten. Of these high speed steels, shock-resistant tool steels are among the toughest. Typically, the shock resistant tool steels are used to make tools such as chisels and screwdrivers. Normally, these types of tools, when in use, do not generate large amounts of friction which require heat resistant qualities as well. These shock-resistant tool steels are often also known as cold-work tool steels as they are usually designed for use at low temperatures, meaning, it will be used at temperatures below 930 degrees Fahrenheit. Tools used at temperatures higher than 930 degrees Fahrenheit are made from what is known as hot-work steel.

In addition, tungsten steels can be made to be heat-resisting steels. Typically, tungsten is added to corrosion-resistant steels that need to be able to operate over higher temperatures. These types of steels are used to make things such as gas turbines, conveyor belts, and the valves for automobile combustion engines. This type of alloy combines the hardness and heat resistant characteristics associated to tungsten to other elements and alloys that normally do not have those types of characteristics if tungsten were not part of it.

While you may not be aware of uses outside the tungsten based jewelry industry, tungsten’s unique characteristics make it an ideal element to be used in tungsten steel to produce an array of tools for different uses.

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