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Carborundum is a crystalline compound, SiC, consisting of carbon and silicon in combination; carbon silicide. Edward Goodrich Acheson discovered how to make it by heating carbon and sand together in an electric furnace, a process facilitated by his previous electrical experience. It is harder than emery, and is used as an abrasive. Carborundum is in fact the brand name.

It has been noted that without carborundum, the mass production manufacturing of precision-ground, interchangeable metal parts would be practically impossible. In the mid 1890s, its discoverer and inventor, Edward Goodrich Acheson, discovered that overheating carborundum produced almost pure graphite.


References:

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Website: National Inventors Hall of Fame, "Edward Acheson" (http://www.invent.org/book/book-text/acheson.html)

Car`bo*run"dum (?), [Carbon + corundum.]

A beautiful crystalline compound, SiC, consisting of carbon and silicon in combination; carbon silicide. It is made by heating carbon and sand together in an electric furnace. The commercial article is dark-colored and iridescent. It is harder than emery, and is used as an abrasive.

 

© Webster 1913

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