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The crystal lattice of boron-carbide crystals is D3d5R3m. The rhombohedral lattice can be described as an icosahedron-shaped primitive cubic cell 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 position created by the icosahedron while C is in the linear chain, the stoichiometry is B4C.

1. Basic properties and applications for boron carbide

Low density

B4C density is small at 2.52g/cm3. In the homogeneous area, the relationship between carbon content and density can be expressed as follows:


Because of its low density, boron carbide can achieve the same performance as boron, such as high strength, high toughness, and excellent performance. Thus, it can be used for lightweight armor in order to reduce the weight and size of cars and tanks. Energy-saving.

Hardness and wear resistant

B4C exhibits super hardness, and is highly resistant to wear. B4C’s Vickers Hardness in homogeneous areas 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 temperatures, its hardness remains high (>30GPa). You can express the change of hardness in temperature by using empirical formula (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 also decreases. B4C’s super hardness and friction properties have made it a popular nozzle for sandblasting.

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