In this study, the structural properties and enhancement in the hardness of commercial WC–Co-based cemented carbide inserts are reported after the formation of a boronised layer on the surface. A boronising thermochemical treatment was given at 900 °C for 4 h. X-ray diffraction analysis verified the treatment in the presence of peaks associated with the Co2B and W2CoB2 phases. The hardness of the samples used in the boronising process increased from 1492 HV up to 2000 HV. The typical values of the thickness of the boronised layer were measured to be around 28 μm. The results of a tool-life test suggest that boride coating effectively enhances the cutting performance of the samples.
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