What it Is:
Tantalum carbide (TaC) is an extremely hard (Mohs hardess 9-10) refractory ceramic material. The hardness is only exceeded by diamond. It is a heavy, brown powder usually processed by sintering, and an important cermet material. It is sometimes used as a fine-crystalline additive to tungsten carbide alloys. Tantalum carbide has the distinction of being the stoichiometric binary compound with the highest known melting point, at 4150 K (3880°C). The substoichiometric compound TaC0.89 has a higher melting point, near 4270 K (4000°C).
Grades: FTaC-1, FTaC-2, FTaC2-1
It is a heavy brownish powder with a metallic luster
Tantalum carbide is often added to tungsten carbide/cobalt (WC/Co) powder attritions to enhance the physical properties of the sintered structure. It also acts as a grain growth inhibitors preventing the formation of large grains, thus producing a materials of optimal hardness.
It is also used as a coating for steel moulds in the injection moulding of aluminium alloys. While providing a hard, wear resistant surface, it also provides a low friction mould surface.
Tantalum carbide is also used in the production of sharp instruments with extreme mechanical resistance and hardness.
It is also used in tool bits for cutting tools.