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topic 10669

Anodizing Tungsten Carbide

A discussion started in 2001 and continuing through 2020 so far.
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Q. I am interested in hard anodizing (although that might not be the correct terminology) tungsten carbide. Is this possible? I suppose it would be similar to CVD coatings, which would not help the application problem I have. Does anyone in the cyber zone have experience with this?

C. A. Schmid
- Houston, Texas


A. High quality tungsten carbide is great as is. Why do you want to modify it?

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


A. Is the tungsten carbide in an aluminum matrix? Some alloys, like the original German Duralumin had WC dispersed in the metal for some purpose I don't understand.

Michael Brewington
- Salisbury, Maryland, USA

To minimize search efforts and to offer multiple viewpoints, we combined previously separate threads onto this page. Please forgive any resultant repetition, failures of chronological order, or what may look like readers disrespecting previous responses -- those other responses may not have been on the page at the time :-)

Anodizing Tungsten or plating with Aluminum and then anodizing


Q. Hi,

I had a question about anodizing tungsten. I make 90% tungsten darts and I was hoping on finding a way to color them. Seeing all the color choices that are available with anodized aluminum, I was wondering if I could somehow anodize tungsten so I could then color it. Or, if it was possible to aluminum plate the tungsten dart and then anodize it so I could use the whole array of colors available for anodized aluminum.

If these aren't options, what suggestions would there be to color the darts. Darts are banged around, handled a lot, and beat up when played with. The finishing would have to be durable, but wear over time is acceptable.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can add some color to my business.

John Clarke
manufacturer - Phoenix, Arizona, USA


A. I was waiting for someone who knew more about the subject than me to reply but so far no luck so heres my 2cents. I've never worked pretty sure its not able to be anodized. as for having it coated with aluminum and then anodized..i asked that question a few months back(coating steel) and I was told its not able to be done with good results. what about a PVD coating? I've seen gold, silver, blue, black, and a gold based rainbow colors(looks like an oil slick in a wet parking lot... pretty). titanium nitride, titanium aluminum nitride, chromium nitride(although I think this is only available in silver?)are some terms you can net search for. this is something you won't be able to do yourself but its a durable, long lasting, and attractive finish. not sure if its do-able on tungsten. maybe heat coloring it with a torch? I use this method on steels and titaniums with beautiful these materials it changes the hardness, I have no idea what effect it will have on tungsten. maybe heat up one and see how it looks and test to make sure it wont cause the dart to bend or break easier. changing the heat will alter the color...also the surface of the material should be clean..sometimes I add oil to the surface before hand to alter the colors but get used to doing a clean surface first.

the only other thing I can think of is painting/powder coating it...which would probably wear off quickly or maybe be too thick. sorry I wasn't more help, not a subject I know much about, just throwing out ideas.

jason aube
- flint, Michigan,usa

July 23, 2020

Q. In regards to anodizing tungsten carbide, I would also like to know how to do this and my purpose is to create an electrically insulating surface.

Walt Johnson
- Rocklin, California, USA

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