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Tantalum carbide
Tantalum carbide
Other names tantalum (IV) carbide
CAS number 12070-06-3 Yes check.svgY
Molecular formula TaC
Molar mass 192.959 g/mol
Appearance black-gray odorless powder
Density 13.9 g/cm3, solid
Melting point


Boiling point


Solubility in water insoluble
Crystal structure cubic, cF8
Space group Fm3m, No. 225
MSDS External MSDS
EU classification not listed
 Yes check.svgY (what is this?)  (verify)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Tantalum carbide (TaC) is an extremely hard (Mohs hardess 9-10) refractory ceramic material, commercially used in tool bits for cutting tools. The hardness is only exceeded by diamond.[1] 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).[2] The substoichiometric compound TaC0.89 has a higher melting point, near 4270 K (4000°C).[3]

When used as a mould coating, it produces a low friction surface.

Tantalum carbide-graphite composite material, developed in Los Alamos National Laboratory, is one of the hardest materials ever synthesized.

Dusts from grinding can be flammable.

Substances to avoid are: flammable gases (dust may form explosive mixtures with gases)

See also


  1. ^ Nature's Building Blocks ANA-Z guide to the elements, ' J. Emsley, 2001, ISBN 0-19-850340-7, p. 421
  2. ^ CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition, 2004, ISBN 0-8493-0485-7
  3. ^ The Inorganic Chemistry of Materials: How to Make Things Out Of Elements, P.J. van der Put, 1998, ISBN 0306457318, p. 129


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