The material with staying power

Comparison of hardness and toughness of carbide and other materials


Engineering materials


The most commonly used materials are shown schematically relative to their hardness and toughness properties: diamond (PCD) is the hardest of all, followed by cubic boron nitride (CBN), and ceramics (Al2O3, SiC, SIALON, etc.). The super-hard materials all suffer from lower toughness and poor resistance to sudden fracture, the cemented carbides have a unique combination of high hardness and good toughness within a wide range and thus constitute the most versatile hard materials group for engineering and tooling applications.

The most valuable property of cemented carbide is that it offers a solution safer and more dependable than that of any other known material to one of the toughest problems that engineers have to contend with – reliability.

Reliability is often a problem of wear. Wear resistance is the most outstanding feature of cemented carbide. Cemented carbide can also withstand deformation, impact, heavy load, high pressure, corrosion, and high temperature – often the only material that can fulfill these requirements satisfactorily.

It has long been a well-known fact that the use of cemented carbide provides an optimal solution in the case of tools for metal cutting and rock drilling. Over the years, cemented carbides have also proven their superiority in a great number of other tooling and engineering applications.