Aluminum carburide also known by the name three-carbon-four-aluminum has a molecular formula AL4C3, a form of aluminum carbide. It is a rhombohedral crystalline material that is transparent and a yellow-brown color. 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 titanium boride. In the silicon carbid reinforced aluminum-based material, the chemical reactions between silicon and aluminum melt produce a layer or aluminum carbide that covers the surface the silicon particles. This can be prevented by coating the silicon particles with a suitable oxide, nitride or other material.
Synthesis of Aluminum Carbon
Aluminum carbide Al4C3 may be produced by direct combination between two elemental substances. 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 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. 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 a variety of colors because the raw materials used contain impurities. Calculated amounts of the mixtures of aluminum and soot can be calcined using hydrogen to produce a pure aluminum carbide without aluminum nitride. This calcination must be performed at a temperature between 1800-1900 for 23h. The obtained product is ground, and then calcined once more at the above temperature.
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