Carbide Tips- preventing cracking
Cracks in carbide tips can be caused by a number of things. One of the more common causes of cracks in carbide tips the technique used to cool the carbide after brazing. To save time, many people will try to speed up the cooling rate by submerging the carbide in cool water after it has cooled to a certain degree. This technique can actually make the carbide tips more prone to cracking. Whenever we have been addressed with such problems by customers in the past, instead of advising them to slow down the cooling method we have just supplied them with more robust carbide tips.
Although More robust grades of carbide are available now, there is still some value in the techniques of slowing the cooling rate of the carbide tips.
One technique for cooling carbide tips that has been effective for many years is to insert the carbide tip into sand or similar to slow the cooling rate. This may not be as widely used or even necessary as it once was due to the increase in strength of modern carbide. However, it is still a great technique, and can only ensure the strength of your carbide tips and make them less prone to cracking.
I have seen first-hand how speeding up the cooling rate of carbide tips can lead to carbide cracking or fracturing. A few years ago I was running some brazing experiments. I was in a hurry for the results so I let the carbide tips air cool to about 250 F and then ran them under cold water. I found that the first few carbide parts broke much more easily than they should have.
I ran the brazing experiment again, this time with carbide tips that were left to air cool to ambient. These carbide parts were much stronger and much more resistant to fracturing.
If you are having issues with cracked carbide tips, then slowing down the cooling rate of your carbide tips using one of the above techniques may be worth your while.
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