Top 6 Industries That Use Tungsten Carbide

Top 6 Industries That Use Tungsten Carbide

While tungsten was discovered by Spanish chemists nearly 240 years ago, it would take manufacturers another 150 years to finally apply it to a particular industry. Fast forward to today and tungsten carbide—a chemical compound containing equal parts tungsten and carbon—is being utilized every day in dozens of major industries around the world.

Here are the top six industries that rely on tungsten carbide for the success of their products.


If you want to machine with the strongest, most long-lasting drill bits, saw tips, and other custom cutting tools, you need a material that’s up to the task. Tungsten carbide is incredibly abrasive resistant, can withstand extreme temperatures, and maintains its sharp cutting edge much longer than hardened steel. It’s also nearly as hard as diamond—while only a fraction of the price—making it a top choice for machine shops everywhere.


When it comes to the global arms industry, uranium was once the darling material of munitions manufacturers. In the past few decades, however, its use has been deemed unethical and thus it has faded away into obsolescence. Now, thanks to its extreme density and hardness, tungsten carbide is the new material of choice for armor-piercing ammunition and other high-penetrating military projectiles.


While stainless steel is still a popular choice for medical equipment, tungsten carbide is beginning to be used more and more for everything from surgical tools (scissors, forceps, etc.) to dental instruments (picks, scrapers, etc.). That’s because carbide is significantly stronger, which allows it to be crafted into smaller, more ergonomic designs that can hold up to the everyday usage of skilled medical professionals.


In the competitive world of sports, every material that goes into the production of a piece of equipment can make a difference in performance. These materials need to be strong, resistant to breakage, and long-lasting—three boxes that tungsten carbides easily check off. That’s why it’s now being implemented in everything from climbing equipment and bicycle tires to fishing lures and hiking poles.


While it may not be quite as flashy as silver or platinum, tungsten carbide has become quite popular in the bridal jewelry industry of late. Because carbide falls between an 8.5 and 9 on the Moh’s hardness scale, it’s incredibly strong and scratch-resistant. This makes it a great choice for rings, armbands, and other everyday wear items.


Mining is one of the oldest industries in America, one that we rely on every day to provide us with iron ore, stone, and other geological aggregates. While the industry has had plenty of success with hardened steel tools over the years, there’s no denying that the introduction of tungsten carbide equipment has been a real game-changer. Now, miners are able to work faster, longer, and more efficiently thanks to minimal tool breakage and downtime.


If you’re looking for the highest quality tungsten carbide at competitive prices, look no further than Complete Carbide. Check out our full inventory of carbide rods and STB strips today. Can’t find the exact product you’re looking for? Send your request to and we will be happy to let you know if it’s something we can source on your behalf.

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