Roots and Origin of a Scratchless Jewelry on Earth

About Tungsten Carbide
On its own, tungsten is a very hard and dense metal, with the highest melting point of all metals - 6,100 degrees Fahrenheit. Alone, tungsten is vulnerable to scratches and damage just like any other metal, it gains its extreme hardness by being combined with a carbon alloy, transforming it into tungsten carbide, with a hardness between 8.5 and 9.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. The strength of tungsten carbide has made it widely used for decades in industrial applications - it is four times harder than titanium, twice as hard as steel and almost impossible to scratch. The resulting metal can be designed into tungsten carbide wedding band rings that are both visually stunning to please the eye and durable enough to withstand everyday use. These rings can only be damaged through extreme measures, such as abrasion from diamonds or being struck with a hammer.

Choosing Your Tungsten Carbide Wedding Band Ring

Make sure you ask your jeweler which metal was used in the finishing or binding process. Many manufacturers of tungsten carbide wedding band rings use cobalt as a binder, mostly because it is cheaper to produce. The problem with cobalt is that it bonds with oils in the skin and leeches out of the ring resulting in oxidation. The oxidation appears similar to tarnished silver, but cannot be removed by polishing or grinding. The better choice is nickel-binder tungsten carbide which is chemically inert, will not oxidize and because it is hypoallergenic, there is no danger of irritation to the skin. Be careful about dealing with a jeweler that doesn't specify that their tungsten wedding bands are made with the nickel binder alloy. Many jewelry stores do not know which alloy they are selling, and if they don't know, it is most likely cobalt alloy or pure tungsten, which lacks the hardness of tungsten carbide and are easily scratched.

Because of tungsten carbide's extreme hardness, wedding bands made from this metal cannot be sized like gold, silver or platinum rings. When you are ready to purchase, make sure that you take extra care in determining the proper size. In regards to engraving a tungsten carbide ring, it is possible, but the results will be very faint and difficult to read unless laser equipment is used.


Quick facts about Proper Tungsten Carbide Bands:
  • 100% scratch proof
  • will not bend out of shape
  • hypoallergenic
  • in case of medical emergencies, our tungsten rings can be removed by medical professionals
  • do not contain any cobalt
  • nickel binder is used for all our tungsten rings
  • most tungsten rings are covered by our lifetime warranty against scratches and breakage

Origin of Tungsten (Wolfram): First isolated as a metal in 1783

Tungsten, also known as wolfram, is a chemical element. The word tungsten comes from the Swedish language tung sten directly translatable to heavy stone, though the name is wolfram in Swedish to distinguish it from Scheelite, in Swedish alternatively named tungsten. A hard, rare metal under standard conditions when uncombined, tungsten is found naturally on Earth only in chemical compounds. It was identified as a new element in 1781, and first isolated as a metal in 1783. Its important ores include wolframite and scheelite. The free element is remarkable for its robustness, especially the fact that it has the highest melting point of all the non-alloyed metals and the second highest of all the elements after carbon. Also remarkable is its high density of 19.3 times that of water, comparable to that of uranium and gold, and much higher (about 1.7 times) than that of lead.


History of Tungsten

In 1783, José and Fausto Elhuyar found an acid made from wolframite that was identical to tungstic acid. Later that year, in Spain, the brothers succeeded in isolating tungsten by reduction of this acid with charcoal, and they are credited with the discovery of the element.

Physical properties of Tungsten

In tungsten's raw form, it is a hard steel-gray metal that is often brittle and hard to work. If made very pure, tungsten retains its hardness (which exceeds that of many steels), and becomes malleable enough that it can be worked easily. 

Of all metals in pure form, tungsten has the highest melting point (3,422 °C, 6,192 °F), lowest vapor pressure (at temperatures above 1,650 °C, 3,000 °F) and the highest tensile strength. 

Where Tungsten comes from

China produced 51,000   tonnes of tungsten concentrate in 2009, which was 83% of the world output. In the prelude to WWII China's production of tungsten played a role as China could use this leverage to demand material assistance from the US government. Most of the remaining production originated from

  1. China (51,000 t)
  2. Russia (2,500 t)
  3. Canada (1,964 t)
  4. Bolivia (1,023 t)
  5. Austria (900 t)
  6. Portugal (900 t)
  7. Thailand (600 t)
  8. Brazil (500 t)
  9. Peru (500 t) and
  10. Rwanda (500 t).

Carbon

Carbon (from Latin:  carbo "coal") is the chemical element with symbol  C. It is nonmetallic. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity. The three relatively well-known allotropes of carbon are amorphous carbon, graphite, and diamond.

Finally What is Tungsten Carbide?

Tungsten carbide (WC) is an inorganic chemical compound (specifically, a carbide) containing equal parts of tungsten and carbon atoms. In its most basic form, tungsten carbide is a fine gray powder, but it can be pressed and formed into shapes for use in industrial machinery, cutting tools, abrasives, other tools and instruments, and jewelry.

Tungsten carbide is approximately three times stiffer than steel and is much denser than steel or titanium. It is comparable with corundum or sapphire in hardness and can only be polished and finished with abrasives of superior hardness such as cubic boron nitride and diamond amongst others, in the form of powder, wheels, and compounds.

Naming

Colloquially among workers in various industries (such as machining and carpentry), tungsten carbide is often simply called  called carbide (without precise distinction from other carbides). Among the lay public, the growing popularity of tungsten carbide rings has led to some consumers calling the material just tungsten. Tungsten Carbide can be prepared by reaction of tungsten metal and carbon at 1400–2000 °C.

Application of Tungsten Carbide in Jewelry

Tungsten carbide, also called cemented carbide, has become a popular material in the bridal jewelry industry due to its extreme hardness and high resistance to scratching. Unfortunately, this extreme hardness also means that it is very prone to shattering. Tungsten is extremely hard and dense. Combined with carbon and other elements, it becomes tungsten carbide, which registers between 8.9 - 9.1 on the Mohs hardness scale. It's roughly 10 times harder than 18k gold and four times harder than titanium and is equal to a natural sapphire's hardness. In addition to its design and high polish, part of its attraction to consumers is its technical nature.

Toxicity in alloys with Cobalt
The primary health risks associated with carbide relate to inhalation of dust, leading to fibrosis. Cobalt–Tungsten Carbide is also reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program.

Surgical instruments

It is also used for making surgical instruments meant for open surgery (scissors, forceps, hemostats, blade-handles, etc.) and laparoscopic surgery (graspers, scissors/cutter, needle holder, cautery, etc.). They are much costlier than their stainless-steel counterparts and require delicate handling, but give better performance.



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Application of Tungsten Carbide in Sports

Bicycling. Some tire manufacturers offer bicycle tires with tungsten carbide studs for better traction on ice. These are generally preferred to steel studs because of their superior resistance to wear.

Horse racing. Tungsten carbide may be used in farriery, the shoeing of horses, to improve traction on slippery surfaces such as roads or ice. Carbide-tipped hoof nails may be used to attach the shoes, or alternatively borium, tungsten carbide in a matrix of softer metal, may be welded to small areas of the underside of the shoe before fitting.

Snowmobiles. Sharpened carbide tipped spikes (known as studs) can be inserted into the drive tracks of snowmobiles. These studs enhance traction on icy surfaces. Longer v-shaped segments fit into grooved rods called wear rods under each snowmobile ski. The relatively sharp carbide edges enhance steering on harder icy surfaces. The carbide tips and segments reduce wear

Surgical instruments