What Does Chromium Carbide Mean?
Chromium carbide (Cr3C2) is a refractory ceramic compound. As the name suggests, chromium carbide is a combination of the elements chromium and carbon. Chromium carbide has high hardness, high strength and good corrosion resistance.
There are several different compounds of chromium carbide that can be formed, each with slightly different mechanical properties and applications.
Corrosionpedia Explains Chromium Carbide
Chromium carbide is used in a variety of applications. It is used as a wear resistant coating due to its high hardness and resistance to corrosion. Since it is refractory, it can maintain a good level of wear resistance even at elevated temperatures. Another application is as a grain growth inhibitor. When other types of carbides are produced, chromium carbide is used as an additive to help stop excessive grain growth and improve the toughness of the carbide.
Chromium carbide is also formed by intergranular corrosion, which occurs when some types of stainless steel are heated to the point where the chromium can bond with carbon atoms. This reduces the amount of chromium and chromium oxide available, which prevents corrosion. This process is known as sensitization. However, when this happens to stabilized grades of stainless steel, it is referred to as a knifeline attack, and in these cases chromium carbide is typically undesirable because it is detrimental to the corrosion resistance of some stainless steels.