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Hexagonal Boron Nitride (H-BN) is one of the most useful materials in modern manufacturing, especially in lubrication. It has excellent heat resistance, a high degree of toughness and is a self-lubricating material that prevents wear to surrounding parts.

It is a highly efficient insulator with a dielectric capacity of up to 500 KV cm2. For this reason it is widely used in electronics e.g. as a substrate for semiconductors, microwave-transparent windows, structural material for seals and electrodes and catalyst carriers in fuel cells and batteries.

The most important polymorph of boron nitride is the hexagonal phase, known as h-BN, or graphitic BN for short. It is a superhard material that adopts the wurtzite structure. It has an impressive hardness, which is only surpassed by diamond and some related compounds.

C-BN, or cubic boron nitride is another important polymorph. Like its cousin, it is a superhard material with a low specific gravity and high strength. It is also an excellent insulator, and can be sintered into ceramics that exhibit a number of desirable properties including increased electrical insulation and improved thermal shock resistance.

In its pure state it can be smelted from powder using a molten boron bath. It is also produced by chemical vapor deposition, usually at very high temperatures.

Hexagonal boron nitride can be incorporated into a variety of materials to create self-lubricating lubricants, e.g. silicon nitride-alumina, titanium nitride-alumina and composite ceramics with these compositions. These boron nitride reinforced ceramics are also used for structural purposes, such as bearings and gears, with a higher level of wear protection than conventional carbon-based materials.

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