Selling Tungsten Carbide Scrap

Tungsten carbide scrap is one of the most recyclable and valuable materials in the world. This is because carbide is the second hardest and densest material on earth after diamonds.

Only diamonds can scratch themselves and carbide; and only carbide can scratch itself and diamonds. You will typically find inserts made from carbide, along with round tooling like thread mills, reamers, end mills and drill bits. You might also find it in PCB drills, saw tips, rounds, blanks and wear parts.

How to Identify Tungsten carbide scrap ?

The first thing that you will notice about something that's made from tungsten carbide is that it is a bit heavier than it looks. However, though heavy, carbide will shatter if you drop it on concrete or a similar surface. One of its main characteristics is that it will not pit or rust, so you can rule many metals out by sight.

Very small pieces (an inch or so) of tungsten carbide scrap, and very large heavy pieces (like 50 pounds or so) are magnetic, so look for rust and pits on these items; or test them to see if steel or some other thing can scratch them. Most tungsten scrap is only slightly magnetic, so the magnet test is usually an effective choice.

Some carbide might also have braising on it. This metal is still valuable, though you will get less for it than pure carbide. When you see something that has a line around it, but you're sure it's carbide, it might be carbide braised with steel. You will see this commonly in round drills and in the mining bits you find in rumble strips. Other sources for large amounts of carbide include:

  • Dyes

  • Cardboard cutters and

  • Carbide Sand/Sludge

Tips rarely contain any carbide, though at first glance, they look like they do. However they are mostly steel. If it has a square end, chances are it is steel.

Carbide Sludge

Companies that grind down carbide bits create a powder called carbide sand that becomes wet, and is then called carbide sludge. This sludge is slightly less valuable than tungsten carbide with braising on it, and a large vat of it is equal in value to a large carbide tool. Most people who get access to this have deals directly with the factories that produce it. Though profitable, you might find it hard to come by and messy to transport. Contact us to start making money selling your tungsten carbide today!

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