Precisionary Instruments now provides tungsten carbide cutting blades for use with all Compresstome vibratome models! These blades are custom made to fit our VF-200, VF-200-0Z, VF-300, VF-300-0Z, and VF-700-0Z tissue slicers. Larger custom made tungsten carbide blades are also available for the VF-800-0Z and VF-900-0Z vibratomes.
What is tungsten carbide?
Tungsten carbide is a type of material that contains equal parts tungsten and carbon. Tungsten carbide appears as a gray powder, and can be pressed through a process called “sintering” to create cutting blades. Thus, tungsten carbide blades have a gray or silver tint, whereas ceramic blades may appear to have a gold or copper color. Tungsten carbide is about twice as strong as steel and double the density of steel.
How do tungsten carbide blades compare to other blades?
Tungsten carbide can be sharpened to a razor edge without the type of brittleness of conventional carbide. Although tungsten carbide blades are not as shock-resistant steel, they are extremely wear-resistant. If you avoid chipping or breaking the blade edge, these blades can last at least 50X as long as conventional double-edge stainless steel blades. Their sharpness is similar to ceramic blades, but the durability of tungsten carbide blades is about 80% of that of ceramic blades.
What are the benefits and disadvantages of tungsten carbide blades?
Tungsten carbide blades provide a huge advantage over stainless steel blades because of their razor sharp edge and their enhanced durability. A single tungsten carbide blade may be used for 3-4 weeks if you section tissue several times per week. They are also priced lower than ceramic blades, making them more affordable. However, they are slightly less durable than ceramic blades, which can last 4 weeks or more with the same use frequency.
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