Hafnium diboride belongs to ultra-high temperature ceramics, is a ceramic composed of hafnium and boron. It has a melting temperature of about 3,250 °C. It is an unusual ceramic with relatively high heat conduction and electrical conductivity and has the same properties as titanium and zirconium diboride. It's a gray, metallic material. Hafnium diboride has a hexagonal crystal structure with a molar mass of 200.11 g/ mol and a density of ~10.5 g/cm3.
Hafnium diboride is usually combined with carbon, boron, silicon, silicon carbide, and/or nickel to improve consolidation (sintering) of hafnium diboride powders. It is usually formed into a solid by a process called hot pressing, in which the powder is pressed together by heat and pressure.
Due to its strength and thermal properties, the material has the potential to be used in ultra-high-speed reentry aircraft, such as an INTERCONTINENTAL ballistic missile heat shield or a pneumatic front. Unlike polymers and composites, HfB2 forms an aerodynamic shape and does not ablate on re-entry.
Hafnium diboride is also being studied as a possible new material for nuclear reactor control rods. It is also being studied as a diffusion barrier for microchips. If the synthesis is correct, the barrier thickness can be less than 7 nm.
What is the use of hafnium diboride?
Hafnium diboride is used for wear-resistant coatings. Because of its excellent refractoriness, it is also used in ultra-high temperature composites with silicon carbide (SiC). The addition of silicon carbide improves its oxidation resistance.
Hafnium diboride property
The oxidation resistance of hafnium diboride is related to temperature and pressure. At 1500°C and 1atm pressure, having forms a protective oxide scale. When the temperature rises above 1600°C and the pressure drops below 1atm, the antioxidant activity of HfB2 decreases significantly. Under these conditions, the boiling temperature of B2O3 (one of the oxidation products of HfB2) exceeds the boiling point of B2O3, forming a protective oxide layer.
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