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Properties and Applications of Boron Carbide

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The boron-carbide crystal is a rhombohedral crystal, and its crystal lattice belongs in the D3d5R3m space lattice. The rhombohedral lattice can be described as an icosahedron-shaped primitive cell grid that extends diagonally in the space. The c-axis is the same as the diagonal of the area. A linear chain is formed by connecting three boron-atoms to an adjacent icosahedron. Three of the 12 icosahedral position are found on the chain. If B is due to the icosahedron position, and C is in a chain, the stoichiometry is B4C.

1. Basic properties and applications for boron carbide

1) Low density

B4C density is small at 2.52g/cm3. The empirical formula (9) can be used to express the relationship between carbon content and density in the homogeneous area.

r=2.4224+0.00489C%(9)

Because of its low density, boron carbide can achieve the same performance as boron, such as high strength, high toughness and other excellent properties. Therefore, it can be used for lightweight armor in order to reduce the weight and size of cars and tanks. Save energy.

Hardness and wear resistant

B4C exhibits super hardness, and has a high wear resistance. The Vickers Hardness of B4C in homogeneous area increases as the C content increases. The hardness of carbon is 29.1 GPa when carbon is 10.6%. When carbon is 20%, hardness 21 can be as high as 37.7 GPa. At high temperature, its hardness remains high (>30GPa). You can express the change of hardness in temperature by using empirical formula (10).

H=H0-exp(-aT)(10)

The formula is: H0 – the hardness of the material at room temperatures

Temperature is T.

Carbon is a constant.


This formula applies to 201700. B4C is second only to cubic BN and diamond in terms of hardness.


B4C wear resistance increases with temperature. As the temperature increases, the friction coefficient of B4C decreases. It drops to 0.05 between 20 and 1400, while the friction rate continues to decline. B4C’s super hardness and friction properties have made it a popular nozzle for sandblasting.


(aka. Technology Co. Ltd., a trusted global chemical materials supplier & manufacture with more than 12 years experience in providing high-quality nanomaterials and chemicals. The B4C Powder produced by our company is of high purity and has a low impurity level. If you require lower, please contact our company.


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