Properly applied composite rod will have a gold colored look when cooled and finished. This particular shoe is from the Blacksmith Shop in Staunton, Va., and the photo was taken during the Trade Show at the 2012 International Hoof-Care Summit. The Blacksmith shop sells shoes with traction material already applied.

Basic Tips for Borium

To begin with, not everything you may be calling by that name actually is Borium

Borium is a lot harder than Jello, but it does have one thing in common with the potluck staple: It’s actually a brand name that typically gets applied to a whole class of products.

Borium is probably the best-known name among the hard-facing products that farriers add to horseshoes for added traction or to extend shoe life. It’s easy for the novice farrier to get a bit confused, so here are some of the basics regarding hard-facing products, drawn from past articles that have appeared in American Farriers Journal articles.


  • Borium is a brand name for a tungsten carbide product made by the Stoody Division of the Thermadyne Company. The type of product is more properly called a tube rod or tube metal. Other brand names include Wear-Trac from Hartwell Industries and E-Bor from Amsterdam Farrier Supply.
  • In tube rods, fine tungsten carbide particles are encased in a metal tube or rod made mostly of steel. This type of material must be welded to the shoe.
  • Composite or composite rods are used for similar purposes, but are a different kind of product. In composite rods, larger-sized tungsten carbide particles are bound together within a matrix. The matrix is often referred to as bronze, but is actually a mixture of nickel, copper or brass. Because it melts at a lower temperature, composite rod material can be added to horseshoes using a gas torch or in a forge, with nickel- silver used as a binding agent.
  • Composite rod brand names…
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