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Aluminium carbide (AlC3) has the molecular formula al4c3. It is a yellow to green-gray crystal block or powder, highly brittle, and hygroscopic. AlC3 is an important material for reducing metal oxides in metallurgy, chemical reaction catalysts, and advanced ceramic materials. It is also used as an abrasive. al4c3 is a methanide and can react with water to produce methane.
Despite being a very reactive compound, al4c3 is relatively stable at high temperatures, and it decomposes into aluminum hydroxide and methane on hydrolysis. It is also a very potent oxidizing agent and is sometimes used as a reducing agent in the chemical industry.
Metal matrix composites (MMC) reinforced with nonmetallic particles exhibit great physico-mechanical properties, and their use is a promising strategy for producing aluminum alloys with improved performance and lower production costs. However, the formation of carbides at the interface between the MMC and the reinforcement is a major obstacle to their successful application.
This article presents a method for the rapid synthesis of phase-pure binary aluminium carbide using microwave heating. This method relies on the utilisation of finely divided aluminium and graphite starting materials that couple effectively to the microwave field. The resulting powder product was characterised by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis. The thermal and mechanical properties of an Al-al4c3 MMC at elevated test temperatures were superior to those of commercial casting aluminum alloys such as A356. The results of this research demonstrate that the discrete in situ al4c3 phase effectively releases the concentration of interfacial thermal stress.