Borium or Drill Tech?

ADDING TRACTION. A spot of hardfacing is added to the heel of a horseshoe with a welding torch. Note the two spots of hardfacing already applied to the toe of the shoe.

Like Kleenex for facial tissues or Band-Aids for adhesive bandages, Borium and Drill Tech are brand names so widely recognized that they have become generic terms for the hardfacing products used by farriers. That could confuse any discussion of hardfacing products and their application.

Don’t be misled. There are a handful of brands, all of which use particles of super-hard tungsten encased in a softer metal shaped into a rod. The softer metal is welded onto the shoe, holding the exposed tungsten particles in place to provide traction and lessen wear on the shoe.

Picking the right hardfacing product depends on two important considerations:

  • Do you want to put hardfacing on a horseshoe with welding equipment, or would you rather be able to braze the material onto a shoe with a forge or heating torch?
  • Are you more concerned about adding traction to the shoe or extending its useable life?

Having answered these questions, you can begin considering the available options, which fall into two categories:

H Hardfacing in which the tungsten carbide particles are encased in a mostly steel matrix. These products, often called tubed metal, must be welded to the shoe. This requires, of course, that the farrier have welding equipment and the skills to use it. The products include Borium, made by the Stoody Division…

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Ron perszewski

Ron Perszewski

Ron Perszewski is a freelance writer and former associate editor of Ameri­can Farriers Journal.

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