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carbide

carbide, any one of a group of compounds that contain carbon and one other element that is either a metal, boron, or silicon. Generally, a carbide is prepared by heating a metal, metal oxide, or metal hydride with carbon or a carbon compound. Calcium carbide, CaC2, can be made by heating calcium oxide and coke in an electric furnace; it reacts with water to yield acetylene and is an important source of the gas. Barium carbide reacts similarly. Aluminum carbide reacts with water to yield methane. Some carbides are unaffected by water, e.g., chromium carbide and silicon carbide. Silicon carbide, almost as hard as diamond, is used as an abrasive. Tungsten carbide, also very hard, is used for cutting edges of machine tools. Iron carbides are present in steel, cast iron, and some other iron alloys.

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carbide

carbide Inorganic compound of carbon with metals or other more electropositive elements. Many transition metals form carbides, in which carbon atoms occupy spaces between adjacent atoms in the metal lattice. Some electropositive metals form ionic carbon compounds; the best known is calcium carbide. Carbides are commonly used as abrasives.

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carbide

car·bide / ˈkärˌbīd/ • n. Chem. a binary compound of carbon with an element of lower or comparable electronegativity. ∎  calcium carbide (CaC2), used to generate acetylene by reaction with water and formerly used in portable lamps: [as adj.] a carbide lamp.

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carbide

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