Ceramic carbide materials are very important materials that have specific properties to use in specific engineering applications. There are bunch of ceramic carbide materials avaliable. In this article, we will explain these ceramic carbide materials and their compositions, production processes basically.
Ceramic carbide materials that are generally used in most engineering applications, tungsten carbide(WC), chromium carbide(Cr3C2), titanium carbide (TiC),tantalum carbide(TaC), and silicon carbide(SiC). Silicon carbide is the most historical ceramic carbide material, because of that, this ceramic carbide material can be classified as traditional ceramic. Silicon carbide has various kinds of applications such as additive in steelmaking, resistance heating elements etc. Chromium carbide is also very important in such applications where chemical stability and oxidation resistance.
Except from SiC, all the other ceramic carbides must have a metallic binder such as nickel or cobalt etc. This gives very solid structure to ceramic carbide materials. These materials which carbides and metals are combined, called as cemented carbide. In market, these cemented carbide materials also known as ‘cermets’ means ‘ceramic metals’.
Titanium carbide, tantalum carbide and tungsten carbide materials has very good hardness and wear resistance. Because of that, these materials are generally used in toolmaking for machining operations. Tungsten carbide is the most historical one, and it is used in long historical centuries. The production of tungsten carbide includes carburizing of tungsten powders that are obtained from tungsten ores which has chemical composition of FeMnWO4 called as wolframite, and CaWO4 called as sheelite. Chromium carbide produced from by carburizing chromium oxide which has chemical composition of Cr3C2. Titanium carbide is also produced from rutile(TiO4) and ilmenite(FeTiO3). And tantalum carbide is made by carburizing either pure tantalum powders or tantalum pentoxide(Ta2O5).
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