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Aluminum carbide The molecular formula of Al4C3 is used to describe this inorganic compound. Aluminum carbide comes as a powdery or crystallized block that is yellowish or greenish. Aluminum carbide powder decomposes in high temperature water and is then dissolved into aluminum hydroxide and methane.

The preparation of aluminum carbide

Aluminum carbide is produced by heating alumina with coke in a furnace. Aluminum carbide Al4C3 comes from the direct combination of two metals at high temperature.
Then, spread carbon powder over the top. The crucible is covered with a cover, and any gaps are smeared in refractory dirt mixed with asbestos fibres. After pre-drying the crucible, the mixture should be heated to a temperature no lower than 1200degC. Higher temperatures can help the reaction progress.

After cooling, the product will be treated with diluted alkaline or hydrochloric acids to remove excess aluminium. After obtaining the aluminum carbide as a fine, crystalline powder, it is washed to remove aluminum chloride with water. Alcohol is then used to quickly wash away the water, and finally the product is dried in a box set at 80-90degC. 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 to make them contain impurities.

A pure product free of aluminum nitride is obtained when the calculated quantity of aluminum and soot mixtures are calcined with hydrogen. This calcination is carried out between 1800degC and 1900degC, for 2 to 3-hours. The ground product is calcined once again at the mentioned temperature.

Aluminum Carbide Application

Aluminum carbide has many applications, including in the production of methane and catalysts. Other typical uses of aluminum carbide are:
1. When combined with silicon carbide, the finely distributed aluminum carbide in the aluminum matrix reduces the tendency of material to creep.

2. The aluminum-aluminum carbide composite material can be made through mechanical alloying by grinding graphite and aluminum powder together.

3. Aluminum carbide may be used in high speed cutting tools. It is nearly as hard as topaz.

4. Aluminum carbide, used as a firework additive, can be used, for instance, to produce the effect of fireflies.

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