Calcium silicide

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Calcium silicide
ECHA InfoCard 100.031.431
Molar mass 96.251 g/mol
Appearance whitish grey - black solid
Density 2.5 g/cm3
Melting point 1,033 °C (1,891 °F; 1,306 K)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Calcium silicide (CaSi2), also called calcium disilicide, is an inorganic compound, a silicide of calcium. It is a whitish or dark grey to black solid matter with melting point 1033 °C. It is insoluble in water, but may decompose when subjected to moisture, evolving hydrogen and producing calcium hydroxide. Decomposes in hot water. It is flammable and may ignite spontaneously in air. Its CAS number is 12013-56-8.

Industrial calcium silicide usually contains iron and aluminium as the primary contaminants, and low amounts of carbon and sulfur.



Calcium silicide is used for manufacture of special metal alloys, e.g. for removing phosphorus and as a deoxidizer.


In pyrotechnics, it is used as fuel to make special mixtures, e.g. for production of smokes, in flash compositions, and in percussion caps. Specification for pyrotechnic calcium silicide is MIL-C-324C. In some mixtures it may be substituted with ferrosilicon. Silicon-based fuels are used in some time delay mixtures, e.g. for controlling of explosive bolts, hand grenades, and infrared decoys.[citation needed] Smoke compositions often contain hexachloroethane; during burning they produce silicon tetrachloride, which, like titanium tetrachloride used in smoke-screens, reacts with air moisture and produces dense white fog. Gum arabic is used in some mixtures to inhibit calcium silicide decomposition.[1]

Heating food[edit]

Self-heating cans of military food rations developed during World War II used a thermite-like mixture of 1:1 iron(II,III) oxide and calcium silicide. Such mixture, when ignited, generates moderate amount of heat and no gaseous products. [2]

Calcium monosilicide[edit]

There is also a calcium silicon CaSi,[2] CAS number 12013-55-7.

See also[edit]