The making of stones and grinding wheels with Carborundum
first what is it .
It all began with a failed experiment.
It was in 1890. In a small Pennsylvania town, the inventor Edward Goodrich Acheson carried out a series of experiments. He tried to heat carbon so intensely that it would result in diamond.
It didn't work.
So Acheson began mixing clay with carbon and electrically fusing it. The result was a product with shiny specks that were hard enough to scratch glass.
This was silicon carbide. Also known as carborundum.
The next year Acheson formed his company in Monongehela, PA and named it Carborundum, and moved the organization to Niagara Falls, NY in 1895.
Carborundum (silicon carbide) is produced artifically in large quantities as an abrasive. Most is crushed and used in griding grits and abrasive papers. This specimen shows coarsely crystallised hexagonal plates of silicon carbide, with typical rainbow irridescent surface colours.