Boron Carbide – What’s it all about?
Boron carbonide also known as black-diamond, has a molecular form of B4C. The powder is often gray-black. It is considered one of three most hard materials and can be used to make tank armor and other industrial products.
Improvement of Body Armor High-grade
Researchers have sought to minimize the effects of high-speed bullets striking armor made from Boron Caride for the past twelve years. Kelvin Ya. Xie Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Our work finally addresses this need. This represents a first step in the development of an advanced body armour that can withstand more powerful gunfires during battle.
Boron carbide has been called “black gold” because of its high hardness, which is comparable to that of cubic boron. Boron carbide has a higher production rate than silicon carbide and is therefore more suitable for armor projects such as bulletproof vests.
Boron Carbide Body Armor: The Dearth
Texas A&M University says that the biggest problem with boron carbide can be its rapid destruction when it is subjected to high speed impacts. Xie released the following statement. “Boron carbide is very effective at stopping bullets travelling at 900m per second. It can therefore effectively block most pistol cartridges. If it exceeds that speed, however, boron carbonide can suddenly lose its path. This has made performance less efficient.”
Scientists have discovered that vibration at high speed can lead to a phase shift in boron caride. This will result in one or more states changing the internal structure of the atom and presenting two or three physical states. By hitting the bullet, the impact transforms the boron-carbidide atoms into a chaotically arranged and crystallized state. This glass-like state reduces the material integrity between bullet and boron carbonide.
Boron Carbide Plus Silicon – Advantages
Xie explained that boron carbide is subject to a phase transition, which causes it to become a transparent state. This creates a pathway for crack growth. The bullet impact damage can quickly spread through the material, and result in more severe damage. .”
Preliminary computer simulations had shown that small amounts of additional elements could make boron carbide less brittle. Researchers created controlled dents with a diamond tip on a sample of boron caride to mimic the effect of a high speed bullet. They then used high-power electron microscopes to see the microstructural damage that was caused by the impact.
Xie, along with his colleagues, found that even low levels of silicon, indentation damage can still be significantly reduced. Though silicon is able to improve the properties boron carbonide’s properties in some cases, Xie indicated that additional experiments will be needed to see if any other elements might also enhance its properties.
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