titanium aluminium carbide (Ti3AlC2) is an extremely hard refractory ceramic material, similar to tungsten carbide. It has the appearance of black powder with a NaCl-type face-centered cubic crystal structure. It occurs in nature as a form of the very rare mineral khamrabaevite - (Ti,V,Fe) C which was discovered in 1984 on Mount Arashan in the Chatkal District of the Soviet Union, which is now modern Kyrgyzstan near the border with Uzbekistan.
Ti3AlC2 has a high melting point, good hardness and chemical stability. Its applications are diverse, including aerospace components, wear-resistant coatings, foam ceramics and infrared radiation ceramic materials.
It can be etched with reactive-ion etching, which improves the properties of Ti3AlC2 by controlling the crystallinity and crystalline structure of the amorphous Ti3AlC2. It is also used in the preparation of cermets, which are frequently used to machine steel materials at high cutting speed. It is also used as an abrasion-resistant surface coating on metal parts, such as tool bits and watch mechanisms.
The addition of 6% to 30% Ti3AlC2 to WC-Co cemented carbide can increase its resistance to wear, corrosion and oxidation. This can increase the strength, precision and smoothness of the workpiece, as well as the machining speed.
TiC has a high elastic modulus, shear modulus and tensile strength. It is widely used in various fields such as military, mechanical processing, metallurgy, petroleum drilling, mining tools, electronic communications and construction.