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Boron Carbide Thermal Conductivity

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Boron carbide (B4C), a crystalline boron-carbon ceramic, is one of the lightest technical ceramics and hard materials that have been developed. It is used in a variety of applications, including control rods for nuclear reactors, refractory materials due to its high thermal stability, and abrasive wear materials. It has a wide range of useful physical properties, such as its low thermal expansion and acid resistance.

Copper coating of boron carbide particles is important for the synthesis of metal-ceramic composites with enhanced sinterability and dispersibility. The present study is aimed at assessing the influence of various surface pre-treatment conditions and pH on the electroless copper coating of boron carbide particles.

A commercial boron carbide powder was leached with sulphuric and nitric acid in an alumina-lined 100 ml flask. The resulting slurry was mixed with polyvinyl alcohol and pressurized to form pellets (10 mm diameter and 1.8 mm thickness). The powder was subsequently plasma sintered in an argon-filled atmosphere at 300 A current and 55 V voltage for 10 min. The tensile strength of the resultant product was found to be dependent on the average gap width.

Using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations, the thermal conductivity of the hybrid formed by armchair and zigzag polyaniline layers in a boron carbide matrix has been calculated. The variation of the thermal conductivity with varying length, uniaxial strain, and point vacancy and circular defects was studied in detail. The results of the calculations agree well with the experimental data, suggesting that the variation is mainly caused by the point defect scattering at the interface.