History of Cemented Carbide

Carbide is a composite material made up of the hard metal tungsten carbide and the binding metal cobalt. Also known as WIDIA steel, this material was introduced by the Krupp Company in 1927. The designation WIDIA stands for “as hard as diamond” However, calling carbide WIDIA steel is misleading. Carbide is not a steel alloy but a composite material, produced using powder metallurgy.

Due to its durability, carbide is commonly used for cutting and drilling tools, such as saw blades, drill bits, and industrial machining tools. The aerospace, energy, and medical fields all rely heavily on carbide tools because they stay sharper longer, even when machining ultra-hard alloys and materials.

AFC Hartmetall has been serving the premium cemented carbide rod market for over 20 years with unique technologies and engineering capabilities.



Because carbide is a composite material made up of several components, the possibilities of producing different carbides are almost unmanageable.

You can vary the proportions of the basic components, tungsten carbide and cobalt. You can vary the initial grain sizes of the powder used, and you can work with different additives to limit the grain growth and to improve the service life.

AFC Hartmetall produces grades with a cobalt content of 6 to 13%. All of these are highly wear-resistant grades from ISO machining groups K10 - K50.



Carbides are manufactured using powder metallurgy processes. The basic steps in powder metallurgy are powder preparation, blending, extrusion or compaction, and then sintering (heating) in a controlled atmosphere furnace to metallurgically bond the particles.