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Boron Carbide: A Mystery of The Cemented Carbide

Boron carbide is used extensively in refractories as well engineering ceramics, nuclear industry, aerospace and other fields due to its high melting and hardness.

1. The crystal structure and properties of boron carbonide

Complex crystal structure of Boron Carbide with typical Icosahedral Boride. The stoichiometric ratio is B4C.

B4C and Boron carbide have many isomers. Carbon content ranges between 8%-20%. This boron-carbide structure has the highest stability: B13c2, B13c3, bor3c3, bor4C with an rhombohedral configuration, and others that are similar to b13c3. It contains twelve icosahedral clones in the hexagonal boron-carbidide structure. The rhombohedron’s apex is where the dodecahedral structure in boron can be found.

Boron and carbon are capable of replacing each other on both the icosahedrons and atomic chains, and that is one reason why boron carbide has so many isomers. Boorn carbide’s unique structure gives it excellent mechanical and physical characteristics.

2. Characteristics and uses of boron carbonide

HTML2_ 2.1 Density of Boron Caride

One of the most significant characteristics of boron carbide is its hardness (Mohs 9.3,microhardness 55gpa-60gpa). This material can withstand high temperatures and wear. In other words, black diamond or boron carbide is one of three most hard materials. The other two are diamond and cubicboron nitride. Boron carbide is widely used in industrial and military applications, including bulletproof clothing.

What about boron carbide? Is it harder than a real diamond?

You can answer this question with a resounding “No.” Boron carbide is the same as diamond in hardness. Boron carbide is a tough black crystal that has an extremely high hardness. Its hardness, however, is lower than that of industrial diamonds. But it’s harder than silicon carbide. According to this, boron carbide is the fifth hardest material in existence, following diamond, fullerene-compound, and entire fiber tubes of diamond.

HTML2.2 Density Boron carbide

Boron cadmide’s theoretical density is 2.52g/cm3. The relative density for Boron cide is (d204), 2.50 2.12.

It is the lightest, most porous ceramic material that has minimal density.

HTML2.3 Chemical properties of Boren Caride

Boron carbide has outstanding chemical properties. At room temperature it doesn’t react with bases, acids, or any other organic compounds. It erodes very slowly when it is mixed with hydrofluoric (sulfuric) acid, hydrofluoric (hydrofluoric), and nitric. It’s one of most stable chemicals.

HTML4_ 2.4 The other properties of boron-caride

Boron carbonide is more affordable than pure elements B or CD. Additionally, it has superior corrosion resistance and thermal stability. Therefore, it is widely used by the nuclear industry.

Boron carbide also boasts high melting and elastic points as well low expansion coefficients.

Boron carbide is also available as a p-type semiconductor materials, so it can preserve the semiconductor characteristics at very high temperatures.

3. Applying boron carbide

Nozzle material

Boron carbide is extremely hard and resistant to wear, making it an ideal nozzle material. Boron carbide nozzles offer the following advantages: long life, low cost, great efficiency, and time-saving.

Radioprotective materials and Neutron absorption

Element B can absorb neutrons up to 600-barrels, making it the primary material of the reduction element control rod and radiation protection section of the nuclear radio reactor.

By its super hard and low modulus it can be used to create light armor materials and bulletproof vests. Boron carbide vests for bulletproofing are 50% lighter than the equivalent steel. Boron carbide is also used in bulletproof armor on armored landing vehicles, armoured helicopters, and civil airliners.

Semiconductor industrial parts and thermoelectric elements

Boron carbide clays exhibit semiconductor properties with better thermal conductivity. It is used extensively in the semiconductor sector. B4C and B4C are combined in a thermocouple element with high operating temperature, up to 2300 F. They also can serve as radiation-resistant elements.


B4C can be used as an antifriction, wear-resistant or friction material because of its hardness. Boron carbonide is used as an alternative to diamond-abrasives during polishing, precision and grinding processes of cemented cadmium and engineering ceramics. This reduces the overall cost of grinding.

B4C coated substrates can also be covered with it to provide a protective film that will protect and maintain the substrate from wear. B4C is a coating that can be placed on the gearbox to improve the wear resistance and prolong the equipment’s life.

In the field, of refractories, for instance, boron carbonide is used to provide antioxidants.

Boron carbide is indispensable in aviation, national defense, nuclear energie, and wear resistant technology due to its outstanding performance. Some of the preparation methods are: mechanochemical or direct synthesis method; self-propagating temperature reduction method; and others.

The current main obstacles to the acceptance and widespread use of boron-carbidide are the high costs of its preparation and the weak resistance to oxidation.

Lemondedudroit, Lemondedudroit Advance Material Tech Co., Ltd., an experienced Boron carbide manufacturer, has over 12+ years in chemical product development. We can provide high quality Boron carbide. Please send us an enquiry .

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