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Boron Carbide: A Mystery of The Cemented Carbide

Boron carbide has a wide range of uses in engineering ceramics and refractories. It is also used extensively in aerospace, nuclear industry and elsewhere because it has a high melting point, low hardness and great neutron absorption.

1. Crystal structure for boron carbide

Complex crystal structure for boron carbide. The stoichiometric form is B4C.

B4C has many isomers. Their carbon content can range from 8% up to 20%. There are three types of stable boron carbonide structures: b13c2, and b13c3. B4C has a rhombohedral design, as well as other phases that are similar to b13c3. In the hexagonal structure, boron carbonide has 12 icosahedral groups. These are interconnected by a covalent bond. The boron’s dodecahedral arrangement is found at the apex.

Both carbon and bore atoms are able to replace one another on the icosahedron or atomic chains. That is why boron carbide is so abundant in isomers. Due to its unique structure, boron carbonide exhibits many outstanding physical and mechanical characteristics.

2. Caracteristics of Boron Carbide

2.1 The hardness of boron caride

The key performance of Boron Carbide lies in its exceptional hardness (Mohs 9.3, Microhardness 55gpa-60gpa – 67gpa) which makes it an ideal wear-resistant, high-temperature material. Boron carbide (also known as black diamond) is among the hardest known materials. This material is often used for bulletproof clothing, tank armor and many other industrial applications.

Is boron carbide, however, harder than diamonds?

Yes. Boron carbide does not have the same hardness as diamond. Boron carbide, which is a hard, black, shiny crystal, has a harder hardness than diamond but an even higher hardness as silicon carbide. Accordingly, boron carbonide is known to be the fifth-hardest material after diamond, fullerene compounds, and boron nitride.

2. Density of Boron Carbide

Boron carbide is theoretically 2.52g/cm3, and relative density is (d204). 2.508 2.12.

It’s the lightest ceramic material and it has the lowest density. This makes it ideal for use in aerospace.

2.3 Chemical Properties of Boron carbide

Boron carbide exhibits excellent chemical properties. Boron carbide does not react at room temperature with bases or acids. Hydrofluoric Acid, sulfuric Acid, hydrofluoric and hydrofluoric nitric acids slow down its erosion. It has one of the strongest chemical properties.

2.4 Other properties for boron carbide

Boron carbide, which is used extensively in nuclear industries, has many advantages over the other pure elements, B and CD.

Boron carbide is also known for its high melting point and high elastic module, as well as low expansion coefficient and functional oxygen absorption capacities.

Boron carbide, a type p semiconductor material can still retain its semiconductor characteristics at extremely high temperatures.

3. Application of Boron carbide

Nozzle material

Boron carbide’s super toughness and high wear resistance make it an indispensable nozzle material. Boron carbide has many advantages, including a long lifespan, relatively low cost and efficiency.

Absorption of neutrons and protection from radiation

Element B is the primary material used to control the radiation protection and reduce elements in the nuclear reactor. It has a neutron absorbtion cross-section up to 600 barn.

Composite arm material

The lightness, high modulus and superhardness of boron carbide make it an ideal bulletproof vest or armor material. A bulletproof vest of boron carbonide weighs more than half that of similar steel. Boron carbide makes a great bulletproof material for armored vehicles on the ground, as well as armed helicopters and civil aircraft airliners.

Semiconductor and Thermoelectric industrial components.

Boron carbide ceramics possess semiconductor properties and higher thermal conductivity. These can be used to make high-temperature semiconductor components as well as gas distribution plates, focusing rings, microwave, infrared windows, plugs, etc. The semiconductor industry. B4C/C can be combined to create a high-temperature thermocouple, which has an operating temperature between 2300 and 2300 degrees Celsius, as well as radiation-resistant thermoelectric elements.


B4C is a wear-resistant and antifriction material due to its high hardness. Boron carbide replaces diamond abrasives for polishing, precision or grinding cemented carbide. It can greatly reduce costs.

You can coat the substrate with the B4C layer to create a protective coating and enhance the substrate’s wear resistance. The wear resistance of the gear can be improved by applying a B4C coat to the gearbox’s surface. This will also increase the equipment’s durability.

Other apps

Boron carbide can be used in the field refractories as an example. This is mainly because it’s found in castables or carbon bricks that are low in carbon magnesia.

Boron carbide is essential in the areas of national defense, nuclear energy and wear-resistant technologies. You can prepare it using the following methods: self-propagating heat reduction, carbothermal reduction, mechanochemical, direct synthesis and sol-gel.

Presently, the major problem in boron carbide’s application and popularity is its high price and low oxidation resistance.

Mis-asia, Misasia advanced material Tech Co., Ltd., a Boron carbide manufacturer, has over 12 years’ experience in the field of chemical products research, development, and manufacturing. If you need high-quality Boron carbide please contact us .

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