Boron Carbide: Its PropertiesBoron carbide has high chemical potential. It is also resistant to wear and has semiconductor conductivity. It is a very stable substance in acid and alkali solutions, whether concentrated or diluted. Boron carbide remains stable in an atmosphere below 800degC.
The hardness is a little lower than the industrial diamond but higher than silicon carbide. Boron carbide is less fragile 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 ApplicationControl nuclear fission
Boron carbide absorbs a large amount of neutrons and does not form any radioactive isotopes. It is therefore an ideal neutron absorption material in nuclear power plants. The neutron-absorbing material is also used to control the rate of nuclear fusion. 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.
The boron carbide is a material that has been in use as an abrasive for many years. Due to its high melting point it is difficult for it to be cast in artificial products. However it can be shaped by smelting powder at high temperatures. It is used for grinding and polishing of hard materials, such as gemstones and cemented-carbide.
Boron carbide may also be used to coat warships or helicopters. It is light weight and resistant to 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 pressure, and does not react with acids or alkalis.
Due to its high hardness and wear resistance, the boron-carbide sandblasting needle will 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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