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Titanium carbide is a very hard refractory ceramic material. It occurs naturally as the mineral khamrabaevite (Ti,V,Fe)C and is also produced by crystallization from titanium nitride (TiN).
The material has a face-centered cubic structure and lattice constant a = 432.8 pm. It has a high melting point of 3200 degC and good chemical inertness to steel and iron.
It is used in manufacturing wear-resistant materials, cutting tools and molds etc. It is also used in a variety of coatings including abrasion-resistant surface coating, heat shield coating, and plastic enhanced conductive material and nucleating agents.
TiC is a useful additive to alloys and composite materials. It is a good conductor of electricity. It can be etched with reactive-ion etching and is used to produce conductive coatings on a wide range of metals, alloys, and composites.
Besides, it can be applied as a lubricant for tools. It has been shown to have the lowest frictional response of other materials tested.
It has been used to coat tungsten-based carbides to make them harder, more resistant to thermal and mechanical damage, and less sensitive to oxidation. The resulting tool bits can be used to cut steel, aluminum, and copper. The resulting tool bits are much longer-lasting than tungsten carbide and are easier to sharpen.