Is Tungsten Carbide a Health Friendly Metal?

Studies revealed that nano particles of Tungsten Carbide and Tungsten Carbide cobalt may go into refined mammalian’s body cells. Reseachers from the University of Dresden in the Environment have found it during the environmental studies.  The studies has also revealed that the Pure Tungsten carbide do not show any poisonous effects.  However when these nano-particles are combined with the poisonous material, the cobalt element inherits the toxic nature.  Environmental Health section which is working on the viro research has tested the impact of tungsten carbide and tungsten carbide cobalt’s tiny particles with  a group size of 150 nm in the cell lines of human’s lung and skin and other internal cells.

The photographs taken from an electron microscopical of neuro cells of human’s nervous system describes the presence of Tungsten Carbide. This photograph shows the tungsten carbide in the grinded form. An institute of Ceramic Technologies and Systems in Dresden has used Tungsten carbide chiefly in the heavy metal industrial house for the production of equipments. The presence of Cobalt with tungsten enhances the hardness and firmness. While in the production process the labors work openly with the metal carbides. However there are no symptoms have been found for presence of nanoparticles still it is beneficial to test the environment conditions in advance of using nano particles of tungsten carbide in the large production process since in such cases, a large amount of nano particles will be required.

During the chemical investigation it has been come out that the Tungsten carbide and its cobalt compound particles are alleviated through serum or albumin present in the nutrients. With the addition of albumin enables the researches to study in the equivalent environments in the presence of bacteria.  The electron microscope enables the researchers to determine the inhale of these particles by the body cells.  The researchers concluded that Tungsten Carbide is solely not responsible for the toxicity in fact its pair with cobalt also didn’t show severe poisoning results even if it is used in the large amount.

The tungsten carbide and cobalt combination produces more toxic character as compare to cobalt. However the reason of poisonous nature of this combination is yet not identified. The nanoparticles may be treated as a toxic medium that they may increase the inhale of poisonous cobalt. Additional study is required to understand the impact of particle size and pairing effects to conclude the possibilities of health risk.

Other matters were also discussed about NanoTechnology and poison on the Environment by the administration and industries.  And, the research team has received large donation to accomplish the study. The amount provided was 7.6 million euros and it was the first research project made in Germany.  This study included the ceramic and metallic nanoparticles of various materials like Diamon, Tungsten carbide, ceramic metal extracts etc.  This research has found the methods of determining the health risks of nanoparticles produced in the engineering tasks.


Isha Changotra has wide experience in metals industry and is working for a renowned super alloys manufacturer located in China and United States. With extensive insight in metals and high performance super alloys, she aims to provide most useful information for folks engaged under this niche.

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Posted in Tungsten

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