Cutting edge research: alternatives to tungsten carbide in the tools industry

In the School of Physics, Engineering and Computer Science, our Materials and Structures group has benefited from a ten-year partnership with C4 Carbides, a Cambridgeshire-based power tool company.

Through a series of Innovate UK-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, this collaboration translated research by Professor Andreas Chrysanthou on novel metal-ceramic joining technologies into specialist cutting tools, resulting in at least £50 million of third-party retail sales globally – including well-known brands such as Black and Decker, Bosch, and AEG.

The close research partnership with the University has transformed C4 Carbides from a niche manufacturing Small to Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) into a global leader in the diamond cutting sector, with the company directly attributing £11.5 million of its gross profits over the period to the research collaboration.