Titanium Carbide Applications

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Titanium carbide (TiC) is a black powder with a face-centered cubic crystal structure. It is found in nature as the rare mineral khamrabaevite, native to Mount Arashan in the Chatkal District of Kyrgyzstan. It is a common component of cemented carbide, used for wear-resistant materials and cutting tools. It is also used in abrasive bearings, molds and metal melting crucible. Its hardness, chemical inertness and thermal stability make it useful for a wide range of applications.

One of the common modes of failure of cemented titanium carbide cutting tools is plastic deformation near the cutting edge. This is caused by high machining conditions such as high speed and feed, which produce excessive temperatures at the cutting tip of the tool and cause plastic yielding of the carbide phase. A method for improving the deformation resistance of cemented titanium carbide is to add reinforcement particles, which improves the toughness of the tipped tool and increases its hardness.

The addition of titanium carbide (TiC) to a cemented tungsten carbide matrix significantly improved its hardness, strength and ductility. The titanium carbide also reduced the tendency of the tipped tool to disintegrate under shear stress, which is caused by tensile stresses in the trough of the carbide. The optimum amount of titanium to be added to the WC was found to be 5%, which provided good deformation resistance, while maintaining sufficient toughness.

The addition of TiC also improved the sinterability of sintered AISI 316L austenitic stainless steel-carbide composites. However, sinterability decreased with increasing concentrations of reinforcing titanium carbide up to 10 wt. %, which was attributed to the difference in densities between the TiC and SS matrix powders.