Tungsten vs Tungsten Carbide
Tungsten is an element and tungsten carbide is an inorganic compound made by it.
Tungsten, which is shown by the symbol W, is a transition metal element with the atomic number 74. It is a silvery white color element. It belongs to the group six and period 6 in the periodic table. The molecular weight of tungsten is 183.84 g/ mol. The electronic configuration of tungsten is [ Xe ] 4f14 5d4 6s2. Tungsten shows oxidation states from −2 to +6, but the most common oxidation state is +6. Tungsten is resistance to the reactions of oxygen, acids and alkalis when it is in bulk amounts. Scheelite and wolframite are the most important types of tungsten minerals. Tungsten mines are located mainly in China. Other than this mine there are some in countries like Russia, Austria, Bolivia, Peru and Portugal. Tungsten is more popular for their usage as bulb filaments. Very high melting point (3410 °C) of tungsten has allowed its usage in bulbs. In fact, it has the highest melting point of all the elements. Its boiling point is also very high compared to most other elements. It is about 5660 °C. Tungsten is also used in electric contacts and arc-welding electrodes.
Tungsten carbide is a compound with the formula WC. This formula shows that tungsten and carbon are in equal amounts, in the compound. Its molar mass is 195.86 g·mol−1. Tungsten carbide has a grey-black colored appearance, and it is a solid. This compound has a melting point of 2,870 °C, and it is one of the hardest carbides. In Moh’s scale, it has a hardness value about 8.5-9 which is an extremely high value. One method of producing tungsten carbide is reacting tungsten with carbon at a very high temperature (1400–2000 °C). It can also be synthesized by the patented fluid bed process, chemical vapor deposition method and many other methods. There are two forms of tungsten carbide based on their structural arrangement. One type is a hexagonal form, and the other is cubic form. These are known as alpha and beta compounds respectively. In the hexagonal closed packed structure, both carbon and tungsten has the coordination number 6. There, tungsten atom layers lie directly to each other where carbon atoms filling half the interstices. WC is an efficient electricity and thermal conductor. Regarding conductivity it falls in the same range as tool steel and carbon steel. It is resistant to heat and oxidation at very low temperatures. Because it is wear resistant WC it used to make cutters for machines, knives for drills, saws, milling tools, which are used for metal working, wood working, mining and constructions. This is also used in making jewelry. Material’s hardness, durability, scratch resistance properties have made it a good jewelry making material. It can also be used as a catalyst to enhance the chemical reactions.
What is the difference between Tungsten and Tungsten carbide?
• Tungsten carbide is an inorganic compound made using the pure element, tungsten.
• Tungsten is denoted as W and tungsten carbide is denoted as WC.
• Tungsten carbide is harder than tungsten.
• Tungsten carbide is more durable and resistant than tungsten.