| Formula |
|Crystal class|| Dipyramidal (mmm) |
H-M symbol: (2/m 2/m 2/m)
|Unit cell|| a = 5.52 Å, b = 11.48 Å |
c = 2.82 Å; Z = 4
|Color||Pale brownish yellow; pale violet in reﬂected light|
|Crystal habit||Prismatic crystals, pseudohexagonal|
|Mohs scale hardness||9.6|
|Specific gravity||6.64 calculated|
Tongbaite is a rare mineral that has the chemical formula Cr3C2, or chromium carbide.
Chromium carbide is a ceramic compound that exists in several different chemical compositions: Cr3C2, Cr7C3,and Cr23C6. At standard conditions it exists as a gray solid. It is extremely hard and corrosion resistant. It is also a refractory compound, which means that it retains its strength at high temperatures as well. These properties make it useful as an additive to metal alloys. When chromium carbide crystals are integrated into the surface of a metal it improves the wear resistance and corrosion resistance of the metal, and maintains these properties at elevated temperatures. The hardest and most commonly used composition for this purpose is Cr3C2.
It was first described in 1983 for an occurrence in Liu village, Tongbai County (桐柏县), Henan Province, China and named for the locality.It occurs in an ultramafic rock deposit. It has also been reported from the Tibet Autonomous Region and from the Isovsky District in the Urals of Russia.
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