The Structure of Aluminum Carbide

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Aluminum carbide is a yellow powder or crystals that decomposes in water to produce methane. It is used as a reducing agent and for the manufacture of aluminum nitride.

It can be obtained by heating a mixture of the elements at high temperatures. It reacts with water or dilute acids to form methane, a flammable gas.

The chemical formula for aluminium carbide is Al4C3. It consists of a complex lattice structure with two sorts of layers.

Sodium treatment is an effective way to stabilize aluminum carbide in an aluminum-carbide-based alloy. The resulting alloy can be tapped out from the furnace, cooled slowly and separated to yield pure aluminum. This process has the potential to become competitive with the Bayer-Hall-Heroult process.

Aluminium halides, also called aluminum oxides, are a class of compounds that are inert to acidic solutions at low pH and have very high melting and boiling points. Typical aluminum halides include aluminum fluoride (AlF3), aluminum chloride (AlCl3), and aluminum bromide (AlBr3).

Aluminum carbide, Al4C3, has a complex structure with two inequivalent sites and one shorter site and four equivalent C4- atoms. The first of these sites is bonded to four atoms to form a trigonal R3m space group, and the second site is bonded to three shorter and two longer Al-C bond lengths.

Aluminium carbide frequently occurs as an undesired product in metal matrix composites based on aluminum matrix reinforced with non-metal carbides (silicon carbide, boron carbide, etc.) or carbon fibers. The chemical interactions between silicon carbide particles and molten aluminum in these composites produce a layer of aluminum carbide on the SiC particles, which reduces the material’s strength while increasing its wettability. This propensity can be reduced by covering the silicon carbide particles with a suitable oxide or nitride, preoxidizing them to generate a silica coating, or employing a sacrificial metal layer.