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.
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)