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Aluminum carburide also known by the name three-carbon-four-aluminum has a molecular form of AL4C3, a type aluminum carbide. It is a light, yellow-brown, transparent, hard rhombohedral crystalline material. It is a ionic crystalline material that does not conduct electricity when at room temperature.
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 the strength by using carbides. Carbon fiber and aluminum composites are examples of materials that can react when the temperature is above 500. It can be prevented from reacting chemically if it is coated with a titanium boride layer. The reaction between aluminum melt and the silicon carbide particles produces an aluminum carbide layer on the surface. This reduces strength. 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 the direct fusion of two elements under high temperatures. Mix 1 part heavy black smoke and 6 parts aluminum powder. Moisten the mixture with pine oil. Spread a thin layer in a clay-based crucible and then spread a thick layer of carbon. The crucible is covered with a cover and all gaps are smeared in refractory dirt mixed with asbestos fibres. After pre-drying the crucible, the mixture must be heated to a temperature no lower than 1200°C for 30 min. Higher temperatures can improve the reaction. After cooling, the product will be treated with diluted alkaline or hydrochloric acids (or dilute hydrochloric solution) to remove any excess aluminum. 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 80-90°C. 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 the aluminum-soot mixture 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 23h. The product is ground, and then calcined once more at the same temperature.
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