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Boron carbide

The organic material B4C is also called black diamond. This substance, which usually comes in the form of gray-black nanopowder, has a formula molecular. Boron carbide ranks third in the world’s hardest materials, alongside diamond and cubic boron-nitride.

Boron Carbide: Its Properties

Boron carbide has a very high chemical potential. It is also resistant to wear and has semiconductor conductivity. It is stable to all acidic or alkalious aqueous solutions, whether concentrated or diluted. Boron carbide remains stable in air below 800degC.

The hardness is lower for boron carbide than it is for industrial diamonds, but higher than the silicon carbide. Boron carbide is a more fragile material than most pottery. Boron carbide resists corrosion by hot hydrogenfluoride, nitric and other acids. It is soluble with molten alkali but insoluble with water and acid.

Boron Carbide: Its Application

Control nuclear fission

Boron carbide absorbs a large amount of neutrons while forming no radioactive isotopes. This makes it an ideal neutron absorption material in nuclear power stations. The neutron absorber is also responsible for controlling the rate at which nuclear fission occurs. Boron carbide, which is used in nuclear reactors as a controllable bar, is sometimes made into powder due to the increased surface area.

During Chernobyl’s nuclear accident, Russia dropped 2,000 tonnes of boron-carbide and sand. This stopped the chain reactions in the reactor.

Abrasive material

The boron carbide is a material that has been in use as an abrasive for a very long time. Due to its high melting point it is difficult for it to be cast in artificial products. However it can be processed by melting the powder at a high temperature into simple shapes. It is used for grinding, polishing, drilling, and grinding hard materials like cemented carbide and gemstones.

Coating paint

Boron carbide may also be used to coat warships or helicopters. It is lightweight, and it can form an integral layer of defense by resisting the penetration of armor-piercing bullets.


It is used in the manufacture of gun nozzles for the munitions sector. Boron carbide has a high wear resistance, is resistant to high and low temperatures, and can withstand high pressure.

Due to its high hardness and wear resistance, the boron-carbide sandblasting needle will gradually replace the existing sandblasting tools made of silicon carbide/tungsten and cemented carbide/tungsten and silicon nitride.


Boron carbide also is used in the production of metal borides as well as boron alloys and special welding.

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