silicon carbide

noun Chemistry.
a very hard, insoluble, crystalline compound, SiC, used as an abrasive and as an electrical resistor in objects exposed to high temperatures.

Origin:
1900–05

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silicon carbide
 
n
an extremely hard bluish-black insoluble crystalline substance produced by heating carbon with sand at a high temperature and used as an abrasive and refractory material. Silicon carbide whiskers have a high tensile strength and are used in composites; very pure crystals are used as semiconductors. Formula: SiC

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silicon carbide

exceedingly hard, synthetically produced crystalline compound of silicon and carbon. Its chemical formula is SiC. Since the late 19th century silicon carbide has been an important material for sandpapers, grinding wheels, and cutting tools. More recently, it has found application in refractory linings and heating elements for industrial furnaces, in wear-resistant parts for pumps and rocket engines, and in semiconducting substrates for light-emitting diodes.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
They used a method that mixes small amounts of silicon with silicon dioxide, silicon carbide, or silicon nitride.
Extrusion of alumina-silicon carbide whisker composites.
The company designed computer modeling methods to simulate silicon carbide semiconductors under extreme conditions.
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