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What is Carborundum?

What is Carborundum?

Hope 2024-05-17 10:07:25

carborundum, also known as SiC, is a remarkable compound that has played a significant role in various industries with its unique properties.

SiC is a compound of silicon and carbon, and it stands out due to its exceptional hardness, thermal conductivity, and chemical stability.

carborundum, is typical formed through a chemical reaction between Silicon and carbon at high temperature, which is called crystalline formation. In this process, pure silica quartz sand (SiO2), and finely ground petroleum coke (carbon) are combined and heated to an increased temperature of roughly 1700 to 2500°C in an electric resistive furnace.

Features of carborundum

Chemical structure and function

Structurally, SiC is characterized by a crystalline formation, with silicon and carbon atoms arranged in a tetrahedral lattice. This structure contributes to its exceptional strength and thermal stability.

Physical properties

Hardness

One main property of carborundum is its extreme hardness, registering between 9 and 10 on the Mohs scale. This characteristic is only surpassed by a few materials, such as diamonds. So the carborundum is often used as an abrasive in grinding wheels and sandpaper, where its ability to wear down other materials was first put to practical use.

Conductivity

Electrical Conductivity

While pure SiC is an excellent electrical insulator, its conductivity can be significantly altered by introducing impurities (doping) into its crystal structure. This feature is crucial in semiconductor applications, where controlled conductivity is needed for efficient operation of electronic devices.

Thermal Conductivity

SiC also has high thermal conductivity. This property, combined with its chemical stability, makes it ideal for used in high-temperature environments, such as in heat ex-changers and industrial furnaces.

Chemical Stability in Water

The lack of reactivity with water is attributed to the strong covalent bonds between silicon and carbon atoms in its crystalline structure. This trait is particularly valuable in applications where long-term durability and reliability are essential, such as in underwater pipelines or high-pressure water systems.

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