Introduction of carbide machining and What can ultrasonic machining bring to it

2020-10-10 15:39:51


Nowadays, tungsten carbide has been applied in a wide range of industries. For the demands in dies and tools, tungsten carbide that bears great hardness and wear resistance and can survive in the extreme condition becomes the right answer.

And there’s a new issue emerged, how do we cut materials that are extremely hard and tough?


Today, we will take a thorough overview from tungsten carbide machining properties and applications, the contemporary processing difficulties, to why ultrasonic machining method could stand on the top while processing brittle advanced materials.



What is tungsten carbide and its common use?

Tungsten carbide is categorized in cemented carbide, which is belongs to metal matrix composites. The hardness and brittleness properties are exactly its pros and cons. Since its extremely hardness (about 9 or 9.5), it is considered to be excellent cutting tools. Also the great wear resistance and relative low cost than other advanced materials with the same hardness like aluminum and sapphire makes it suitable for stamping and punching die in precision machinery. Applied in various types of dies and tools that can assist precise components manufacturing, tungsten carbide has been honored to be “the tooth for the industry.”



Difficulties in Tungsten Carbide Machining

While tungsten carbide is an excellent material for tools and dies that can shape other advanced materials, on the other hand, it is regarded as the “hard to cut “material since its extreme hardness that rare materials can be compared. It is a nightmare when utilizing conventional CNC method to process tungsten carbide.

The stable extreme hardness is a challenge to cutting tools and it usually requires diamond grinding or using diamond-coated tools to deal with. Therefore, the limitation for tools results in higher cost consumption for manufacturers.  


There is another common solution for tungsten carbide machining. With its electrical conductivity, some adopts electrical discharge method (EDM) to eroge excessive materials and achieve hi-quality precision machining in tungsten carbide. Though EDM is an advanced method to process cemented carbide, the low efficiency and high equipment cost are two main difficulties that interrupt manufactures from introducing this technology. Till now, most of the manufacturers still apply CNC method with special tools, and the machining problems mentioned above have occurred repeatedly.


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