Tungsten Carbide Wear Strips

Tungsten carbide wear strips offer exceptional hardness, abrasion resistance, and durability – ideal qualities for protecting critical tooling and industrial equipment surfaces against repetitive sliding or impact erosion damage.

This guide details tungsten carbide grades for wear strips, manufacturing methods, sizes available plus applications and leading suppliers. Comparison tables highlight relative strengths across wear strip materials, processes and key selection criteria.

Overview of Tungsten Carbide Wear Strips

As ultrahard protective surface treatments, key traits tungsten carbide strips for high wear areas provide:

  • Extreme hardness over HV 1600+ to resist abrasive wear
  • Tough carbide composition withstands impact without cracking
  • Corrosion resistant nickel alloy binder system
  • Smooth finish lowers sliding friction and pressure
  • Thin strips simplify retrofitting existing assets
  • Lower long term costs than replacing tools/parts

Combined with precision manufacturing techniques for dimensional accuracy, tungsten carbide strips combat erosion damage lengthening service lifetimes.

tungsten carbide wear strips

Types of Tungsten Carbide Grades for Wear Strips

Tungsten carbide wear strip choice depends primarily on the abrasion or impact mechanism severity.

Tungsten Carbide Grades Comparison

GradeHardness RangeToughnessKey Applications
8-12% CobaltHV 1600 – 1900Higher, but lower max hardnessModerate abrasion, repeated impact, 49-62 HRC tools
6% CobaltHV 1900 – 2200Medium, increased brittlenessSevere sliding abrasion resistance
3-6% CobaltHV 2500 – 3200Lower, very brittleExtreme abrasion; Poor chipping/spalling areas

Grain sizes range 1-16 micron depending on feature detail resolution needs. Cobalt concentrations dictate ultimate harness potential. Low row recommends multi-carbide blends using Ni, Cr supplements to boost toughness.

Tungsten Carbide Wear Strip Sizes

Standard tungsten carbide strip sizes vary in thickness, width and composition making them easy to retrofit onto most equipment.

Standard Wear Strip Size Specifications

1mm6mm – 60mmUp to 2 meters
1.5mm10mm – 80mmUp to 2 meters
2mm15mm – 100mmUp to 2 meters
3mm20mm – 150mmUp to 2 meters
4mm20mm – 150mmUp to 2 meters
5mm20mm – 150mmUp to 2 meters
6mm20mm – 150mmUp to 2 meters
8mm20mm – 150mmUp to 2 meters
10mm20mm – 150mmUp to 2 meters

Oversize thicknesses, widths and custom lengths possible. Strips may be straight or curved shaped.

Hole patterns can be added for mechanical fastening if desired.

Manufacturing Processes for Tungsten Carbide Strips

Advanced sintering techniques transform tungsten carbide into wear-resistant blanks subsequently machined into finished strips.

Tungsten Carbide Wear Strip Production Methods

Powder Metallurgy Press+Sinter

Powdered tungsten carbide with nickel alloy binder pressed into shape; Solidified at high temp into a densified structure. Offers intricate, net shape capability. Most strips utilize this process.

Machining from Rolls

Sinter-HIP tungsten carbide roll stock precisely cut into wear strip blanks. Simplifies complex geometries compared to press/sinter process.

Brazing Attachment

Carbide strips furnace brazed using specialty nickel alloys onto metallic substrates. Provides the strongest attachment systems.

Mechanical Fastening

Screws, rivets or other fastener elements anchor tungsten carbide wear strips onto equipment surfaces. Convenience tradeoff versus brazing.

Applications of Tungsten Carbide Wear Strips

The exceptional hardness and wear properties tungsten carbide provides suits high erosion areas across industries:

Industries Using Tungsten Carbide Wear Strips

Mining – Crushing, materials handling, drilling equipment

Forestry – Sawmill and wood processing gear

Construction – Excavation buckets, concrete vibrators

Agriculture – Tillage tools and blades

Food Processing – Chopping and size reduction knives

Recycling – Metal shredders, car crushers

Any environment with excessive particulate abrasion or repetitive instrument surface wear can benefit from retrofit carbide strips prolonging steel tool and component lifetimes 5-10X.

Comparing Wear Strips By Material

While more costly, tungsten carbide significantly outperforms other wear protection materials across key metrics:

Wear Strips Material Selection Matrix

MaterialHardnessAbrasion ResistanceCostCons
Tungsten CarbideBestBestHighBrittle if overloaded
CeramicsGoodGoodMediumCracks under impact
Hardened SteelAverageAverageLowestSoftens over time from friction heating effects
Chrome PlateLowLowLowPoor abrasion resistance

Carbide strips offer the ultimate sliding abrasion protection for the longest working lifespan.

Leading Tungsten Carbide Wear Strip Manufacturers

Top producers of tungsten carbide wear strips include:

Suppliers of Tungsten Carbide Strips

CompanyGrades OfferedPricing Estimate
Kennametal6-15% Cobalt$25-$100 per strip
Sandvik6-20% Cobalt$20-$150 per strip
Global Tungsten3-12% Cobalt$15-$80 per strip
Cornerstone Carbide6-15% Cobalt$30-$125 per strip
Allied Metals6-20% Cobalt$25-$175 per strip

Pricing varies based on size specifications, grade selected, order volumes and customization needs. Quotes readily available.


What industries generate the most significant demand for tungsten carbide wear strips?

Mining, construction, forestry, and primary metals manufacturing spur the heaviest usage of tungsten carbide strips due to the extreme particle abrasion exposure wearing down heavy asset cutting faces, crushing surfaces and digging implements constantly stressed during use.

What backing or substrate metals work best for attaching carbide strips?

Medium carbon alloy steels offer suitable expansion coefficients and ruggedness to allow durable braze joints or mechanical anchoring. Hardness levels 25-35 HRC provide a sound foundation allowing integration of the hard tungsten carbide layer over areas needing protection.

How thick should tungsten carbide strips be for maximum durability?

For optimum shielding to resist both repetitive abrasive wear and periodic impact stresses, carbide strip thickness should fall between 4-8mm. Thinner strips under 2mm risk cracking. Over 8mm does not appreciably improve working lifespans.

Should tungsten carbide strips be custom fabricated or standardized for a particular application?

Retrofitting existing equipment with standardized strips allows rapid installation using conventional mechanical fasteners or furnace brazing methods. However, custom machined curved strips tailored to precisely match damaged areas speeds replacement and lowers any asset modification requirements.

How often should tungsten carbide wear strips be inspected and replaced?

Routine inspections each maintenance cycle should validate strips remain fully secured with no loosening or mechanical issues. Annual proactive replacements are recommended for extreme duty cycles regardless of actual wear to prevent any unexpected failures in service. Higher cobalt content grades sustain usefulness the longest between changeouts.

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