Russia's insistence on paying for Russian gas in rubles has rattled European countries: Greece held an emergency meeting of suppliers, the Dutch government would urge consumers to use less gas, and the French energy regulator told consumers not to panic. Russian gas meets one-third of Europe's annual energy needs.
Russia said they could expand their demand for ruble payments for other commodities, including oil, grain, fertilizer, coal, and metals, which raised the risk of recession in Europe and the US.
Moscow is expected to unveil its ruble payment plan in early April, but it said it would not immediately ask buyers to pay for gas in rubles.
Western countries have said paying in rubles would be a breach of contract, and renegotiation could take months or longer. This uncertainty has pushed commodity market prices higher.
The supply and prices of other commodities like the Tungsten Carbide could also be affected.
What is Tungsten Carbide?
As one of the main production raw materials of cemented carbide, the physical and chemical properties of tungsten carbide (WC) powder, such as particle shape, particle size, particle size distribution, oxygen content, carbon content, bulk density, etc., will directly affect the quality of alloy products. Nowadays, with the gradual optimization of the production process of cemented carbide, the market demand for spherical tungsten carbide powder is also increasing.
Tungsten carbide is mainly composed of refractory metal tungsten and non-metallic carbon, and contains a small amount of impurity elements such as Co, Cr, Ti, Ta, Nb, V, Mn, Ni, Mo, O, etc. According to the different particle size, it can be divided into the following grades, WC10 (1.01~1.40um), WC30 (3.01~4.00um), WC50 (5.01~7.00um), WC100 (10.01~14.00um) and so on.
Properties of spherical tungsten carbide
Appearance is black powder, high purity ≥99.9%, sphericity ≥95%, melting point is 2870℃, boiling point is 6000℃, density is 15.63g/cm³, bulk density is greater than 7.0g/cm3, tap density is greater than 7.0. 5g/cm3, the flow performance is less than 10.0s/50g, and has the characteristics of high hardness, low thermal expansion coefficient, high compressive strength, large elastic modulus, and smooth surface. However, due to its high hardness, its processing performance is poor, so it is more suitable for 3D printing.
Production process of spherical tungsten carbide powder
Smelting method: The raw material powder (tungsten powder and carbon black or tungsten powder, carbon black and tungsten carbide) is melted into a liquid state, and droplets will form on the surface under the action of centrifugal rotation method, rotary atomization method or gas atomization method Spherical tungsten carbide.
Modified irregular tungsten carbide: The irregular WC is melted into a liquid state, and then the spherical tungsten carbide powder is made by the plasma spheroidization method or the resistance heat spheroidization method.
Uses of spherical tungsten carbide
Mainly used in the production of cemented carbide. According to different chemical compositions, cemented carbides can be divided into tungsten-cobalt, tungsten-titanium-cobalt and tungsten-titanium-tantalum (niobium) types.
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Europe has been facing the gas shortage problem since the second half of 2021. The worsening situation in Russia and Ukraine has reduced Russian gas shipments to Europe, leading to a doubling of European gas prices. Energy shortages have sent electricity prices soaring. For these reasons, it is predicted that the price of the Tungsten Carbide will continue to increase.
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