Tungsten Carbide (WC) is a very hard compound that is synthesized from tungsten metal and a carbon source. Its high hardness (it is a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale) makes it ideal for cutting, surgical tools, wear abrasion protection, traction enhancers, and jewelry. In order to be formed into various shapes, the tungsten carbide is typically ground into a powder and then bound together with cobalt and/or nickel.
Hosokawa Custom Processing Services has AFG jet milling systems for milling tungsten carbide into a fine powder. In the milling chamber, opposed jets release compressed air into the chamber to form streams of gas at extremely high velocities (up to 500 m/s). This air movement creates a fluidized bed and the particles impact into each other at the center of the chamber to break apart the brittle tungsten carbide particles. Because the milling action is particle-to-particle impact (instead of particle-to-machine impact), the result is a high purity product with minimal wear to the equipment. After milling, the air lifts the milled particles to an internal air classifier at controlled speed which removes the particles below the cut point (product) and sends the oversized particle back to the milling zone for additional milling.