|Tungsten carbide is a chemical compound 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, armor-piercing rounds, other tools and instruments, and jewelry.|
Tungsten carbide is about two times stiffer than steel, and is much denser than steel or titanium. It is comparable with corundum in hardness and can only be polished and finished with abrasives of superior hardness such as cubic boron nitride and diamond powder, wheels, and compounds.
|Tungsten Carbide is the hardest material next to diamond. It cannot be scratched except with a diamond. |
Tungsten carbide rings are not made of pure tungsten ore. The tungsten ore is mixed with various binders – such as nickel and sinter – at high temperatures to create a ceramic. Not every tungsten ring advertised is tungsten carbide. There are manufacturers making rings out of tungsten alloy, a soft, non-sintered metal that is easier to manufacture. These alloys lack the hardness needed to create a highly polished and scratch-resistant surface. Proper tungsten carbide formulations are required to create durable jewelry with polish and scratch-resistance.