Niobium carbide is amongst the hardest technical compounds known.
It should thus be excellently suited for machining applications and wear protection.
Striking advantages of niobium carbide in industrial applications
- More volume per kg purchased compared to WC thanks to much lower density of NbC.
- Weight reduction achieved with NbC reduces inertia in machining equipment and dynamic applications.
- Reduction of adhesive wear (tooling applications).
- NbC grades show overall reduced friction in tribo-contacts as compared to WC grades.
- Mechanical properties of NbC are comparable to those of WC (wear parts application).
- The hot hardness of NbC is above 700°C similar or higher than that of WC, even hough its hardness at room temperature is lower.
- Rather high chemical stability (low solubility of Nb in iron) reducing the need for additional coating in hot applications.
- Tribo-oxidation products of NbC have low environmental impact and health risk since niobium oxide is classified as non-toxic.
Summary of health & safety classifications and labeling within REACH (extract)