Features and Benefits

Tungsten carbide, abbreviated as WC or TC, also called cemented carbide, hardmetal or widia, is a metal matrix composite. Tungsten carbide particles are the aggregate, and metallic cobalt serves as the matrix. It is a non-oxidizing ceramic that can withstand high temperatures while maintaining hardness comparable to corundum or sapphire.

Esteves Group offers drawing dies with tungsten carbide blanks inside as a cost-effective solution for a wide variety of wire processing applications. Carbide dies are frequently and successfully used in wire drawing (round & shaped), bunching, stranding, guiding, and split die applications.

Tungsten Carbide dies can be made in a wide range of sizes, ranging from .004 - 3.0” (0.1 - 76.2 mm) and larger.

Like all products from Esteves Group you can expect these products to be manufactured to the quality and accuracy standards you require.

To reduce friction or improve wear resistance carbide dies can be coated. This is an additional process that places a layer of another material on top of the carbide by either chemical vapor deposition (CVD) or physical vapor deposition (PVD). Coatings comprising titanium, molybdenum, tungsten and sulfide are available. Please contact an expert at Esteves in order to find the best coating for your process.

Tungsten Carbide die coating options
Coating name Coefficient of friction [-] Micro-Hardness [Vickers]
C5 coating 0.30 2800 - 3200
H coating 0.35 2400 - 3200
HS coating 0.15 3200 - 3400
No coating 0.35 - 0.60 2400

Note: Above data is for indication purposes. The coefficient of friction depends on the drawn material and on the used lubricant. The hardness depends on the temperature.

Applicability and Product Use

Tungsten carbide has been a base material for drawing dies for over 100 years and continues to be a viable option for many applications.

Typically, tungsten carbide dies are used for manufacturing wire or rod, generally in highly abrasive and high carbon material areas where PCD dies are not cost effective. Tungsten carbide dies are successfully used for applications that require high heat and shock resistance, or when small lots or short runs for trials, or testing are desired.

TC dies are frequently used for drawing:

  • Steel wire
  • Stainless steel wire
  • Copper wire
  • Aluminum wire
  • Tungsten wire
  • Various other ferrous and non-ferrous metal wire types

Tungsten carbide can be chosen as a raw material for the following products from Esteves Group:

  • Wire drawing dies
  • Bunching/Stranding dies
  • Split dies
  • Shaped wire drawing dies
  • Extrusion tools
  • Compacting dies
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