Titanium Carbide Hardness

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Titanium, tungsten, and titanium carbide are three of the most hard materials on the planet. All are very tough and scratch-resistant, which makes them great choices for jewelry, surgical implants, armor-piercing rounds, cutting tools, and other applications requiring high levels of wear resistance. However, each one has a slightly different level of hardness. Titanium is the softer of the three, while tungsten has the highest hardness and is also the most expensive.

Titanium carbide, known chemically as TiC, registers 9-9.5 on the Mohs scale and has the appearance of black powder with a face-centered cubic crystalline structure. It is most often combined with tungsten and cobalt in cemented carbide (CC) tools, but it is also used alone for heat-resistant parts.

In addition to its high strength and hardness, titanium carbide has good chemical stability. It does not change valence states during temperature changes and is resistant to corrosion by water, air, and oxygen. Its low coefficient of friction, especially when dry, provides excellent wear resistance.

When used in conjunction with tungsten carbide, titanium improves the toughness of the tool and enhances its wear resistance by protecting it from chipping. It is also useful for cutting extremely abrasive metals like high-nickel alloys, stainless steel, and hardened carbon steels. Ferro-TiC’s self-lubricating micrograins prevent pick-up and galling, which occurs when hard metals rub against each other in conditions of poor lubrication. This results in long part life, even when used in highly abrasive applications.

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