Aluminum carbide is an inorganic compound with the molecular formula Al4C3. Yellow or greenish-gray crystal block or powder, hygroscopic. Decomposition at high temperature, hydrolysis in cold water to methane and aluminum hydroxide. Used in metallurgy and catalysts. Produced by the reaction of alumina and coke.
Appearance and properties: yellow or greenish-gray crystal block or powder, hygroscopic.
Melting point (℃): 2100
Relative density (water = 1): 2.36
Boiling point (℃): 2200 (decomposition)
Solubility: insoluble in acetone.
Decomposes above 2200℃. Decomposes in cold water to produce methane and aluminum hydroxide.
1. Stability: stable.
2. Incompatible materials: water, acids.
3. Conditions to avoid: humid air.
4. Polymerization hazard: no polymerization.
5. Decomposition products: methane and aluminum hydroxide.
Preparation of aluminum carbide
It is obtained by heating alumina and coke in an electric furnace.
Aluminum carbide Al4C3 is prepared by a direct combination of two elements at high temperatures.
First, prepare a mixture consisting of 1 part heavy smoke black and 6 parts heavy aluminum powder, moisten the mixture with pine essential oil, put a tight layer in a clay crucible, and spread a layer of carbon powder on it. The crucible should be covered with a lid, and all the gaps should be smeared with refractory soil mixed with asbestos fibers. Then, after placing the crucible with the mixture in an oven for pre-drying, the mixture is fired at a temperature not lower than 1200°C for 30 minutes. Higher temperatures can make the reaction proceed better. After cooling, the product is treated with dilute hydrochloric acid (or alkaline solution) under cooling to remove excess aluminum. The aluminum carbide obtained as a fine crystalline powder is washed with water to remove aluminum chloride, then the water is quickly washed away with alcohol, and the product is placed in a drying box at a temperature of 80-90°C for drying. The product contains a large amount of aluminum nitride.
Pure aluminum carbide is colorless, but the products made by the above method often have different colors due to impurities in the raw materials.
When the calculated amount of the mixture of aluminum and soot is calcined in hydrogen, a pure product without aluminum nitride can be obtained. This calcination should be carried out at a temperature of 1800 to 1900°C for 2 to 3 hours. The resultant product is ground and calcined again at the above-mentioned temperature.
Application of aluminum carbide
Aluminum carbide is used in metallurgy, catalysts, and methane production. In addition, typical applications of aluminum carbide include:
1. The finely dispersed aluminum carbide particles in the aluminum matrix can reduce the creeping tendency of the material, especially when used in combination with silicon carbide particles.
2. Aluminum-aluminum carbide composite materials can be made by mechanical alloying, grinding aluminum powder, and graphite particles together.
3. Aluminum carbide can be used as an abrasive for high-speed cutting tools, and its hardness is almost the same as that of topaz.
4. Aluminum carbide can be used in fireworks to achieve the effect of fireflies.
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