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What is Tantalum Carbide?
Tantalum Carbide(TaC) is a binary compound consisting of Tantalum and carbon, and its empirical formula is TaCX, where X usually varies in a range of 0.4 to 1. They are extremely hard, brittle, metal-conductive refractory ceramic materials. They are a brownish-gray powder and are usually sintered.
As an important cermet material, Tantalum Carbide is used commercially in cutting tools and is sometimes added to tungsten Carbide alloys
A Tantalum Carbide ceramic is a ceramic that contains a seven-crystal phase of Tantalum Carbide. The chemical formula is TaC, face-centered cubic lattice. The theoretical density was 1.44, the melting point was 3730-3830 deg C, the thermal expansion coefficient was 8.3×10-6, the modulus of elasticity was 291GPa, the thermal conductivity was 0.22J/cm*S* C, and the peak melting point of Tantalum Carbide was around 3880 deg C, depending on the purity and measurement conditions. This value is the highest among binary compounds. Only hafnium carbide has a slightly higher melting point, about 3942 deg C, while hafnium carbide has a melting point comparable to TaC.
TaCX powders of the required components are prepared by heating a mixture of tantalum and graphite powders in a vacuum or in an inert gas atmosphere (argon). Heating at approximately 2000degC is performed using a furnace or an arc melting device. Another method is to reduce tantalum pentoxide with carbon in a vacuum or hydrogen atmosphere at 1500-1700degC. This method was used to prepare Tantalum Carbide in 1876, but the lack of stoichiometric control of the product reported the direct production of TaC from these elements by self-spreading high-temperature synthesis.
The bonding between tantalum and the carbon atoms in carbides is a complex mixture of ions, metals, and covalent contributions. These carbides are very hard and brittle materials due to their strong covalent composition. For example, TaC has a microhardness of 160-2000 kg/mm2 (~ 9mohs) and an elastic modulus of 285 GPa, while the corresponding values for tantalum are 110 kg/mm2 and 186 GPa.The hardness, yield stress and shear stress increase with the increase of the carbon content of TaCX.
Tantalum Carbide is electrically conductive to metals, both size and temperature-dependent.TaC is a kind of superconductor with high transition temperature Tc = 10.35 K.
How strong is tantalum carbide?
By testing Vickers hardness, fracture toughness, and relative density of a series of samples, it can be confirmed that the TaC possesses the best mechanical properties under 5.5 GPa and 1300 degC. The relative density, fracture toughness, and Vickers hardness of TaC are 97.7%, 7.4 MPa m1/2 and 21.0 GPa, respectively.
What is tantalum carbide used for?
Tantalum Carbide was chemically stable and insoluble in acids. Antioxidant ability is strong.TaC is usually synthesized from tantalum pentoxide and carbon black in an inert or reductive atmosphere, as a brass powder. The products with high density and metallic luster can be made by hot pressing sintering. Used as additives for aerospace materials and cemented carbide. Tantalum Carbide is a light brown metallic cubic crystal powder in the sodium chloride type cubic crystal system. It is insoluble in water, insoluble in inorganic acids, soluble in a mixture of hydrofluoric acid and nitric acid and can be decomposed. It has strong oxidation resistance and is easy to be melted and decomposed by potassium pyrosulfate. Electrical conductivity is large, the resistance at room temperature is 30O, showing superconductivity.
What is tantalum carbide used for?
Tantalum carbide is widely used as a sintering additive in ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) or as a ceramic reinforcement in high-entropy alloys (HEAs) due to its excellent physical properties in melting point, hardness, elastic modulus, thermal conductivity, thermal shock resistance, and chemical stability.
Tantalum Carbide is used as an additive for powder metallurgy, cutting tools, fine ceramics, chemical vapor deposition, hard wear alloy tools, tools, molds and wear-resistant structural parts to improve the toughness of alloys. Titanium Carbide’s sintered body is golden yellow and can be used as a watch ornament. Tantalum Carbide was also used as an inhibitor of grain growth in sintered cemented Carbide with a density of 14.3g/cm3.
Is tantalum carbide toxic?
Tantalum Compounds: The systemic toxicity of tantalum oxide, as well as that of metallic tantalum, is low, which is probably due to its poor solubility. Carbides: Pure carbon has extremely low toxicity to humans and can be handled and even ingested safely in the form of graphite or charcoal.
Poseidon is an unmanned deep submersible
In 2016, a team at Imperial College London found that Tantalum Carbide (TaC) and hafnium carbide (HfC), a ceramic material with the highest known melting point, can withstand temperatures of nearly 4,000 deg C. The melting points of Tantalum Carbide and hafnium Carbide were determined by a novel laser thermal technique and the maximum melting points at 8:2 were 3768 deg C, 3958 deg C and 3905 deg C, respectively, the journal Scientific Reports reported.
Tantrum Carbide and hafnium Carbide are better at resisting high temperatures than any other material known. They protect a spacecraft from the extreme heat of exit or re-entry.
Researator Dr. Omar Sediroth Baraza said the spacecraft nose cap and scientific equipment carried by spacecraft require high-temperature resistant materials, and that Tantalum Carbide, or hafnium Carbide, could be used for future supersonic missions. It could also be used to make shells for supersonic aircraft that could fly from London to Sydney in just 50 minutes, opening up new business opportunities in countries around the world.
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