Tungsten Carbide (also called cemented carbide or simply carbide) is a metal composite created from tungsten carbide and a binder metal (usually cobalt or nickel) in powder form that is compacted and sintered in a furnace. Tungsten Carbide is used for tools, abrasives, jewelry, industrial drills, and armor-piercing ammunition due to its exceptional hardness (8.5-9.0, surpassed only by diamonds). Because the tungsten carbide particles are captured in a binder during the sintering process, the result is referred to as “cemented”.
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Modern copper ores contain less than 0.6% copper, and less than 2% total volume of economic ore minerals (including copper). A majority of the ore is comprised of unwanted rock and gangue minerals (typically silicate minerals or oxide minerals). Separation of ore minerals from gangue minerals entails complicated and labor intensive processes.