These relatively soft, ductile, low-melting-point binding agents represent the so-called fluid binding phase in which the carbide material particles are wetted during sintering.
The binding agent permeates the agglomerated particles, compacting the body through contraction of the hard materials (shrinkage) down to the smallest possible size. The hard metal carbides are surrounded by the binder metal matrix but remain separate heterogeneous metallographic constituents. In recent years hard metals have been greatly enhanced and, through new applications and continuous improvement in quality and production technology, have proven their high level of performance. This of course also increases the demands made on processing and production.