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Aluminum carburide also known by the name three-carbon-four-aluminum has a molecular form of AL4C3, a kind aluminum carbide. It is a transparent, hard, light yellow-brown crystal. It is an electrically inactive ionic crystalline material.
Calcium carbide contains a small amount aluminum carbide. Aluminum carbide is often produced by corroding graphite electrodes when metal aluminum is melted using electrolysis. Aluminum carbide can be an undesirable component of metal matrix composites, or carbon fibres that use aluminum to create a matrix and then increase strength by using carbides. For instance, composites made of carbon fibers and aluminum can react when the temperature exceeds 500. It can be prevented from reacting chemically if it is coated with a titanium boride layer. In the silicon carbid reinforced aluminum-based material, a layer of aluminium carbide is formed on the surface the silicon carbon particles due to the chemical reaction. This can be prevented by coating the surface of the particles with a silicon oxide or nitride.
Synthesis Method for Aluminum Carbide
Aluminum carbide Al4C3 may be produced by combining directly two elemental substances under high temperature. Mix 1 part heavy black smoke and 6 parts aluminum powder. Moisten the mixture with pine oil. Spread a thin layer of carbon on top. The crucible is covered with a cover and all gaps are smeared in refractory dirt mixed with asbestos fibres. After pre-drying the mixture, it is then fired in a crucible at a temperature no lower than 1200°C for 30 min. Higher temperatures can improve the reaction. The excess aluminum is removed by treating the product with diluted hydrochloric solution (or an alkaline solution), after cooling. After obtaining the aluminum carbide as a fine powder, it is washed to remove aluminum chloride with water. Alcohol is then used to quickly wash away the water. The product is then dried in a box set at a temperature between 80 and 90 degrees. The product contains an excessive amount of aluminum chloride.
Aluminum carbide itself is colorless. However, the products that are made using the above method can have different colors because of impurities. Calculated amounts of aluminum and slag are calcined using hydrogen. This produces a pure aluminum carbide without aluminum nitride. This calcination must be performed at a temperature between 1800 and 1900 for 23 hours. The product is then ground, and again calcined above the temperature.
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