Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips

Tungsten carbide brazed tips refer to tungsten carbide material braze-joined to a steel shank to serve as a cutting tool insert for machining applications. The hard tungsten carbide provides wear resistance while the steel shank enables mounting into tool holders.

Overview of Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips

Tungsten carbide brazed tips feature a composite design with distinct material zones leveraging individual performance advantages:

  • Fine grain tungsten carbide zone forms the functional cutting surface
  • Cobalt binder matrix to facilitate sintering and provide toughness
  • Braze alloy layer usually nickel or copper based
  • Steel shank for mounting into insert holders

This construction combines hardness, strength and shock resistance for metal removal operations under demanding conditions.

Key attributes of tungsten carbide brazed tips:

  • Composite metal cutting insert design
  • High hardness tungsten carbide cutting zone
  • Excellent wear resistance and edge retention
  • Brazed join between WC and steel body
  • Enables interrupted and heavy machining
  • Lower cost alternative to solid carbide inserts

Types of Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips

Various standard and special tool geometries are produced with brazed carbide tips including:

TurningPositive rake styles for external turning
Grooving‘L’ and ‘T’ style inserts for cut-off grooving
Cutting-offTriple edged blades for severing stock
BoringSpecial boring bars with brazed tip
CustomSpecial geometries for specific uses

Composition of Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips

Tungsten carbide brazed tip inserts consist of distinct composition zones:

FunctionalWC grains + CobaltHard wearing cutting surface
Braze jointNi, Cu, Zn alloysJoins WC and steel
ShankMedium carbon steelEnables tool mounting

Properties of Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips

Key properties include:

HardnessResists cutting edge wear during machining
StrengthWithstands high machining forces
ToughnessHandles impact loads interrupting cuts
Thermal shock resistanceAllows heat generation during cutting
Chemical resistanceCompatibility with workpiece materials

Characteristics of Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips

Grain sizeUltrafine grain sizes down to 0.4 μm
GradesK, P, M indicating composition
Edge preparationSpecial honing or treatments
Dimensional accuracyPrecise control of angles and clearances
BalanceControlled to run true during high speeds
TestingSample examination ensures quality
tungsten carbide brazed tips

Applications of Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips

Tungsten carbide brazed tools widely used where economical tooling for difficult materials is needed:

ApplicationCommon Uses
Interrupted cuttingMilling slots, pockets, contours
High speed machiningTurning hardened steels over 45 HRC
Rough boringEnlarging holes in gray and ductile cast iron
Parting and groovingCutting off stock and making grooves
Indexable toolingCustom toolholders for multi-tip brazed blades

Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips for Turning

Brazed carbide tip turning inserts used for:

  • Roughing cuts and semi-finishing passaes
  • External longitudinal turning operations
  • Type D and Type S insert styles common
  • Positive rake angles from 5 to 25 degrees
  • High productivity on low and medium carbon steels

Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips for Grooving

‘L’ and ‘T’ style tungsten carbide brazed tip inserts designed for cut-off grooving operations.

Features include:

  • Narrow cutting profile for deep groove depths
  • Advanced groove bottom geometries
  • TiAlN coating for pre-hardened steels
  • Reduced tendency for workpiece burring
  • Groove widths from 1.5 mm to 8 mm range

Tungsten Carbide Brazed Blades for Cutting-Off

Triple edged parting blades utilize brazed carbide tips allowing economic severed cuts. Three cutting corners per insert reduces indexings during batch production cutting.

Attributes include:

  • 1.2 mm to 2.5 mm blade heights
  • Coated grades resist welding
  • Advanced chipbreaker designs
  • Reduced vibrations from asymmetric blade style
  • Tolerances approaching grind-to-size inserts

Indexable Tooling Using Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips

Indexable custom tooling incorporates tungsten carbide brazed inserts allowing simple, low-cost tips changes after wear versus regrinding special tooling.

Tooling includes:

  • Brazed carbide tips in shank boring bars
  • Face and peripheral milling bodies
  • Special profiled form cutters
  • Multi-insert adjustable cartridges
  • Quick change style tool blocks

Simplifies maintenance with tip replacement while controlling investment costs.

Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tip Specifications

International standards help define composition, properties and quality requirements:

ISO 1832ISANominal binder content
JIS G 4053Japanese Industrial StandardClassification method
ASTM B774ASTM InternationalSpecification for brazed tips

These help ensure brazed insert procurement to appropriate grade and style needs.

Sizes of Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips

Common size ranges include:

ParameterSize Range
Inscribed circle3 mm to 25 mm
Thickness1.5 mm to 8 mm
Corner radius0.4 mm to 2.5 mm

Larger geometries over 25 mm diameters possible for custom boring bars, milling, and specialty applications.

Grades of Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips

Tips use tungsten carbide grade based on nominal binder content and grain size:

KLow cobalt content for max hardness
PIntermediate cobalt for strength
MHigher cobalt for increased toughness
CFine 0.4 μm grain size for polishable finish

Advanced substrates and special post-sinter treatments further expand grade capabilities.

Braze Alloy Options for Tungsten Carbide Tips

Alloy TypeCompositionProperties
NickelNi-Cr-B-Si / Ni-MnCost effective, 600 -800°C brazing
CopperCu-Zn-Mn / Cu-Mn-NiHigher strength, 700 – 900°C braze
ActiveTi / Zr / Hf addedReactive, improves carbide wetting
SilverAg-Cu / Ag-Cu-Zn-CdLow temperature 500 – 600°C brazing

Choice depends on carbide grade, strength needs, temperature constraints and cost targets.

Tungsten Carbide Brazed vs Sintered Tips

ParameterBrazed TipsSolid Carbide Inserts
ConstructionCemented WC welded to steel shank100% sintered WC
HardnessUp to 92 HRA (85-88 typical)92 – 94 HRA
Strength700 – 900 MPa transverse rupture strengthHigher > 1000 MPa
ToughnessModerate fracture resistanceHigher but varies by grade
Thermal loadSensitive to rapid temperature changesBetter shock resistance
CostLower material costExpensive molded tooling

Brazed tips offer economic performance while solid inserts provide maximum capability where affordability less critical.

Global Manufacturers of Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips

IscarIsraelWide range of carbide grades and geometries
TungaloyJapanFocus on turning and grooving inserts
Sandvik CoromantSwedenAdvanced substrates and coatings
KennametalUSAIndexable and multi-tip designs
CeratizitLuxembourgPrecision carbide components

Cost Analysis of Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips

Carbide tip costs from:

  • Raw materials – powder, cobalt binder, braze alloys
  • Manufacturing – pressing, sintering, grinding, brazing
  • Insert geometry complexity
  • Size, radius, thickness, tolerance
  • Quantity and order volume
  • Special coating or edge treatments
ItemPrice Range
Indexable turning insert$2 – $12 each
Parting or grooving blade$1 – $5 each
Large diameter boring bar$50 – $250 each
Custom profile milling body$100+ per piece

Pricing varies significantly based on dimensions, grade, special features, order volume and supplier term agreements.

Advantages and Limitations of Tungsten Carbide Brazed Tips


  • Significantly lower cost than solid tungsten carbide inserts
  • Tailorable binder content for hardness vs toughness needs
  • Advanced carbide grain structures for specific applications
  • Composite design resists sudden load changes
  • Variety of standard and custom insert geometries
  • Simplified tool resharpening via tip replacement
  • Broad compatibility with steels, irons, exotics


  • Lower hardness and wear resistance than solid WC inserts
  • Maximum operating parameters usually less than molded tips
  • Braze joint integrity reliance under high stress loads
  • Thermal shock resistance less than 100% sintered
  • Limited extremely high precision grooving or cuts

Ongoing braze developments continue expanding capabilities while maintaining economic advantages over solid tungsten carbide tooling alternatives.

tungsten carbide brazed tips

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most commonly used braze filler alloys to join tungsten carbide and steel?

Nickel and copper based braze alloys are most common, with Ni-Cr-B-Si and Cu-Zn-Mn compositions being well proven for carbide brazing over decades of use.

What causes braze joint failures in tungsten carbide tipped cutting tools?

Potential reasons for braze failures include inadequate braze filler volumes during manufacture, brazing atmosphere issues leading to voids or inclusions, problems with brazeability of specific grades, and poor mating surface preparation prior to brazing.

Is surface grinding necessary for tungsten carbide brazed tips?

Yes, grinding after brazing is important for precise insert geometries, optimal surface finish and edge sharpness needed for clean workpiece cutting. It also exposes embedded flaws preventing in-service failures.

Can tungsten carbide brazed inserts use advanced PVD coatings?

Yes, advanced coating like TiAlN can be applied via physical vapor deposition to the carbide surface of tipped inserts. This helps resist built-up edge and improves effectiveness when machining high temperature alloys or hardened materials over 45 HRC.

What are recommended operating parameters for indexable tools using brazed tungsten carbide tips?

Indexable tooling with brazed carbide tips often limits speeds to 100-150 m/min, feed rates between 0.15–0.4 mm/rev, and depths of cut from 0.5–4 mm. Reduced DOC and widths of cut further aid multi-insert tool life between sharpenings.

What causes edge build up when machining with tungsten carbide brazed inserts?

Insufficient insert temperatures from low speeds, feeds or DOC can create smearing and welding of workpiece material. More positive geometries, TiAlN coatings and appropriate parameter selection reduces tendencies for edge build up in most materials.

When should I choose solid tungsten carbide inserts over brazed carbide tipped tooling?

Solid tungsten carbide inserts are recommended for very high precision grooving under 0.1mm land widths, micro machining, HD hard part machining over 50HRC, and extremely demanding operations needing maximum wear resistance and thermal shock tolerance.

Can I reuse tungsten carbide brazed inserts by simply re-brazing new cutting tips?

Reusing the steel shanks is not recommended – braze cycles thermally age the substrate material. New inserts should be used for reliability. However, the old shanks can potentially be recycled.

What causes insert chipping and breakage when machining using brazed carbide tools?

Chipping or fracturing during operation can result from inadequate insert grades for the application, built-up edge issues, chatter problems from improper parameter selection, or damage mishandling inserts while indexing. Eliminating the root cause is key.

What steps should I take for safely grinding tungsten carbide tipped cutting tools?

Always wear appropriate respirator masks before grinding tungsten carbide, ensure adequate ventilation, use grinding wheels matched for carbide materials, dress wheels to keep cutting surfaces fresh, go slowly to minimize heat buildup, and cool inserts with water or oil fluid during grinding.

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