Boron Carbide and Silicon Can Make Body Armor More Impact

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Boron Carbide – What is it and what does it do?

Boron carburide also known by the name black diamond has a molecular formula of B4C. It is usually a gray or black powder. It is one the hardest materials and is used as tank armor, in body shields, and for many other industrial purposes.

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In the past 12 year, researchers have looked for ways to reduce damage caused by bullets traveling at high speeds hitting armor made from boron carbide. Dr. Kelvin Yu Xie Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering said: “Our research has now met this need. This is an important step toward designing advanced body armor to protect against powerful weapons in battle.

Boron carbide has been called a “black diamand” and is only second in hardness to cubic boron. The boron-carbide armor material is lighter and harder than silicon carbide and easier to mass-produce.

Boron Carbide Body Armor Lack

According to Texas A&M University’s research, the main drawback of boron carbide is that it can easily be damaged by high-speed impacts. Xie, in a recent statement, said: “Boron carbide is able to stop bullets traveling at 900 m/s. It can therefore effectively block the majority of pistol bullets. If the speed is exceeded, then boron carbide will lose its trajectory. Performance has become less efficient.”

Scientists have discovered that high-speed vibrating boron carbide will lead to a phase shift. One of these changes will alter its internal structure, presenting it in two or multiple physical states. The bullet’s impact transforms boron carbide from a systematically organized crystalline state into a disorderly-arranged glass state. This glass-like condition weakens material integrity in the area of contact between the bullet and the boron carbide.

Boron Carbide Plus Silica: Benefits

Xie explained: “When boron carbide undergoes a state change, its glassy form creates a pathway that cracks can follow. Any damage caused locally by the bullet’s impact will spread to the entire material. .”

Previous computer simulations suggested that adding small amounts other elements could make boron carbide less brittle. The researchers used a diamond tip to create controllable dents in a boron-carbide sample. This was done to simulate the initial impact from a high speed bullet. The researchers then observed the micro-damage caused by the impact using a high-power electronic microscope.

Xie, his colleagues and their research showed that the amount of phase changes was reduced by 30% even if there is a low silicon content. This reduces indentation damage by a significant margin. Xie says that while silicon may enhance the properties boron carbide, further experiments are necessary to find out if other elements also can improve the properties.

Tech Co., Ltd. () is an experienced boron-carbide powder manufacturer. We have over 12 years’ experience in research and product development. You can send us an email if you want to buy high quality Boron carbide Powder.

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