Wholesale tungsten carbide rings are becoming more popular among fashion conscious people as well as for weddings and engagements. These rings are very strong and durable, making them perfect for heavy wear applications. However, many people who are buying tungsten rings might not realize that there is a difference between tungsten and tungsten carbide. Tungsten refers to the individual metal, while tungsten carbide is an alloy of tungsten and mostly carbon, but also other metals such as nickel or titanium. Knowing the difference between these two is important, as some retailers might use these terms interchangeably and you might end up purchasing a weaker ring than what you were hoping for.
Tungsten Carbide is a very hard material that is used in various tools and machinery. The most common usage is in mining where it is found in top hammer rock drill bits, roller cutters, long wall shear picks, raiseboring reamers and tunnel boring machines. This is because tungsten carbide is highly abrasion resistant and can withstand higher temperatures than steel tools.
The tungsten carbide that is used in these tools is sintered and is typically found as a button insert, mounted within a softer steel matrix that holds it in place. As the tungsten carbide is worn away by the harder material around it, more of the button insert becomes exposed and allows for continued cutting. The tungsten carbide is often coated with iron aluminide or Titanium Chromium Nitride to improve its high temperature stability and oxidation resistance.
Tungsten carbide is also a neutron reflector and was used extensively at Los Alamos National Laboratory during the 1940s to experiment with nuclear chain reactions for potential weapons. In fact, it was the tungsten carbide sphere dropped on the plutonium sphere at the criticality accident that ultimately led to the first nuclear chain reaction.