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Bismuth carbide (BiC2) is a metallic compound with the formula B2C3. It is one of the most versatile of all metals because it can be found in alloys, crystals and strong magnets.
It is a refractory, durable, abrasive material that is extremely hard and reversible. It is used in a variety of applications, including drills and other tools.
When mixed with other metals, it can be added to malleable iron to stabilize its brittleness and improve its machinability. It can also be used to stabilize low-carbon steel and aluminum in alloys.
In many alloys, it acts as a filler and increases the tensile strength and impact resistance of the metal. It is often combined with other elements, such as lead or copper, to create a new type of metal.
Another important use is as a carbide stabilizer for malleable iron, especially for castings and molds that require high tensile strength or toughness. This helps to prevent cracking during machining, a critical aspect of many industrial processes.
The other important use of this element is its ability to withstand high levels of gamma radiation. This makes it a useful component in the manufacture of fusible alloys, a range of materials with low melting points that are used for solders and thermal fuses.
Bismuth is a naturally occurring element in the earth’s crust that occurs as a mineral, bismuthinite and as a byproduct of extraction of copper, tin, silver and lead. It is mined mainly in Bolivia, Peru, Japan, Mexico and Canada.