One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A very hard black solid consisting of silicon carbide, used as an abrasive.
- ‘A compound known as silicon carbide, also known as carborundum, is one of the hardest substances known.’
- ‘The upper epidermis of the leaf was abraded with carborundum.’
- ‘Before inoculating, 600-mesh carborundum was dusted on the leaves.’
- ‘Control plants were also dusted with carborundum and mock inoculated with a sample volume of potassium phosphate buffer.’
- ‘Surfaces can be smoothed down by rasps, files, and rifflers or by carborundum and emery, and the addition of water avoids a build-up of dust.’
Late 19th century (originally US, as a trademark): blend of carbon and corundum.
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