Waste not want not, the old saying goes, and while many do not consider the waste from machine shops, the aerospace industry, or the energy, railway, medical, defense and military sectors, these areas are ripe for reusing materials. In particular, tungsten carbide scrap is a valuable and useful product that can be repurposed into a multitude of items. The alloy used for a number of tools and inserts is made by mixing a binder like the metal cobalt with grains of tungsten carbide and other materials.
While tungsten based alloys like tungsten carbide are well known for their durability and strength, they can still wear down or break over time. Wear and tear as well as sharpening of tools such as tungsten carbide bits can also result in shavings or filings from the item. All of these can be gathered up and sold for profit as tungsten carbide scrap is much in demand. There is even a market for soft scrap like tungsten carbide sludge or swarf. Scrap carbide recycling is used in a number of different industries, including in the military where it is being used to produce bullets. This tough tungsten carbide alloy means the bullets fashioned from the material can even penetrate protective devices.
On the consumer side, jewelers look for tungsten carbide to make everything from rings to necklaces and bracelets because it is both beautiful and scratch resistant, while sporting equipment stores look to use the material for trekking pole tips, snowmobile spikes and other winter sport equipment. Its solid grip makes it an ideal choice.
Tungsten carbide scrap can even find its way into light bulbs where it becomes filaments. The higher melting point of the alloy makes for better longevity. It even shows up in the roller ball of pens and in medical instruments such as tweezers, forceps and the like. Given its properties, it also finds its way into construction and mining concerns as cutting tips, saws, picks, shovels and so on.
What is one man’s waste is another man’s treasure and that is certainly true when it comes to tungsten carbide scrap. Recycling tungsten carbide has a positive impact on the environment while also benefiting a number of industries where such materials are always in demand. Even suppliers with small reserves of scrap can find buyers for their tungsten carbide.