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…