Boron carbide is a crystalline compound of boron and carbon. It has high hardness and high thermal stability. Moreover, it has excellent thermoelectric properties. These properties make it ideal for a variety of applications. Among these, it is used in nuclear reactors, wear-resistant products, abrasive powders and control rods.
Boron carbide is considered to be the hardest synthetic material produced. The density is about 2.52 grams per cubic centimeter. However, it is difficult to define its melting point. Moreover, there is no theoretical study on the phase stability of boron carbide.
For the present study, we have investigated the effects of shock-wave loading on boron carbide densities. We also determined the quantitative phase composition of boron carbide. Our findings show that the shock-wave loading significantly altered the microstructure of the samples. Furthermore, new effects were observed when shock-wave loading occurred at very high angles.
Shock-wave loading results in an increase in boron carbide density. This change in boron carbide density results in the formation of twinned crystals, which are a characteristic feature of boron carbide microstructure. Besides, the increased boron carbide density results in the reduction of porosity. In addition, micro-cracks are found in the sintered sample.
A comparison between X-ray diffraction and phase composition analyses has revealed the presence of a complex structure in the boron carbide. The boron carbide structure is similar to that of a-rhombohedral boron. But it has different thermal expansion coefficients depending on the direction of its crystallographic orientation.