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Tungsten carbide (chemical formula: WC) is an inorganic chemical compound (specifically, a carbide) 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 approximately two times stiffer than steel, with a Young’s modulus of approximately 550 GPa, and is much denser than steel or titanium. It is comparable with corundum (α-Al2O3) or sapphire/ruby in hardness and can only be polished and finished with abrasives of superior hardness such as cubic boron nitride and diamond, in the form of powder, wheels, and compounds.