Carbide (also known as Widia or Tungsten Carbide) is a material used in machining that consists of hard particles of Tungsten Carbide embedded in a metal matrix (often Cobalt). Carbide is produced by the process of sintering, i.e. fine powders of the components are mixed, pressed and then heated under high pressure so that the powder granules come together to form a single piece. This means that hard metals are not actual metals but carbides bound by a metal.
Hard metals are used to make tools for industrial cutting processes (turning, milling, drilling) or for any other process in which a material of high hardness is required (cutting, crushing, etc.). They also have the advantage of resisting higher cutting temperatures, thus allowing higher machining speeds than steel.