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Product Knowledge

Gloria ChilcuttMay 06, 2020

Being a global company that specializes in tungsten carbide reclamation, we buy all types of shapes, sizes, and quantities of scrap. I am relatively new to the industry, so one of my favorite things to do for product knowledge is to walk through our incoming material supply to see the wide array of tungsten-contained products that are able to be recycled into usable materials again. It’s amazing to think that some of the tungsten in a tiny drill could have been part of an aileron on a plane that flew countless miles across the globe.

For some tungsten carbide parts, however, recovery isn’t always an option but that could still mean cost-savings. Hardfacing with tungsten carbide grit is a common practice in the wear resistance world. By crushing different tungsten carbide tools, broken pieces are screened and sorted for specific sizes and shapes depending on the desired application.

Farriers have brazed crushed grit on to horseshoes for added wear and traction for many years now. The more blocky/chunky material is favored because of the traction benefits in loose terrain. To sort this material from the flatter pieces is of much importance to the end-user. Because of tungsten’s hardness, the softer brazing material is worn away at a much faster pace, sometimes leaving more tungsten edges protruding. Quite the opposite of the tires on a car in which the traction diminishes over time.

Another use for crushed grit is on cutting edges on heavy equipment such as dozers and excavators. This material is screened for size, but the shape isn’t quite as important since coverage is the goal. As the hours on a machine go up, the life of the surfaces coated with grit is extended enormously. This results in much lower operating and maintenance costs. Maintaining sharp edges also keeps the performance at a much higher level throughout the lifecycle of the interchangeable blades or teeth. A dull blade doesn’t cut, and dull teeth don’t dig.

Although tungsten grit isn’t always reclaimable, these two examples alone depict the importance of making sure tungsten carbide recycling is utilized fully by providing secondary material that is both economical and practical for potential end-users.

Scott Phillips – Product Development

Gloria ChilcuttMay 06, 2020

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