Our manufacturing process begins at the most basic level—elements. Tungsten carbide is a combination of the elements Tungsten (W) and Carbon (C). We take what the earth provides, and turn those raw materials into what will one day become tools and parts used by surgeons in operating rooms, construction workers building highways and tunnels, and engineers sending men and women into space.
The finest quality end product begins with the best quality raw materials. This includes ready-to-press powders and powders made in house from reclaimed parts.
A portion of our tungsten carbide powder comes to us in the form of reclaimed carbide parts. We take those worn parts and break them down into powder form using our in-house Zinc furnaces.
Our milling room is where the tungsten carbide powder is mixed to specific grades by introducing raw materials such as TaC, NbC, TiC, Cobalt, Carbon, and Petroleum Wax. The powder is then milled using ball mills and made into a slurry using naphtha (flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixtures). After the powder is milled, it is then dried for 24 hours.
Once the powder is dried, it is transferred to our powder room. Here it is fitz milled, chunked, tubed, and screened into a ready to press powder. At this point in the manufacturing process, the tungsten carbide has a texture similar to chalk and is ready to Press.
Our press room is where your part begins to take shape. Our technicians, using state of the art equipment, press the powder into specified shapes or forms. The Robotic Presses will remove the parts from the cavity and place on trays or belt where the operator can inspect and place on trays. These forms are then visually inspected and placed on graphite trays to be sintered.
Graphite trays filled with the pressed parts are loaded into our vacuum furnaces for sintering. Under vacuum at a temperature of 1400-1450 degrees Celsius, the molten binder combines with the Tungsten Carbide to create some of the highest strength engineering materials in the world. The HIP (Hot Isostatic Pressing) furnaces run a similar cycle to the vacuum sintering furnaces. The only difference is a pressurized inert gas is added during the actual sintering phase. This pressure closes any micro-porosity in the parts.