Basic Properties, Synthesis and Typical Properties of Boron Carbide

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What is boron caride?

Boron Carbide powder is part of the trigonal crystal structure. Unit cell contains 12 B and 3 C elements. C atoms within a unit cell are connected in a stereo diagonal arrangement. This configuration can be changed by B atoms.
B4C’s molecular mass is 52.25. C21.74% and B78.25%. It can be found in a range of colors, from gray to black to a dense 2.519g/cm3, and a microhardness around 49GPa. The grinding efficiency is about 60%-70% higher than SiC and 1-2 times as high as corundum.

B4C powder melts at 2450°C (decomposition). At 1000°C the coefficient of expansion for B4C powder is 4.510-6°C-1. At 100°C, the thermal conductivity of B4C is 121.4W/mk and at 700°C it is 62.79W/mk. Hot-pressed products made from B4C are heat- and wear-resistant. B4C can be used in the refractory industries as an additive. For example, it is added to carbon-bonded materials to act an antioxidant. A body with unshaped materials has a higher strength and greater resistance to corrosion.

Synthesis of Boron carbide

and its typical properties

To synthesize B4C powder, the common technique is to combine boron anhydride and excess carbon.


You can either use an electric arc furnace or a muffle oven to perform the reaction. The resistance furnace can synthesize B4C by heating the mixture B2O3-carbon C at a temperature below B4C. (sometimes with Free B 1%-2%) is another better method. B4C is converted to a carbon-rich phase by heating it in an electric furnace at a temperature of 2200. The quality of B4C produced is affected by the volatilization of some of its components, which can result in a high level of C (20%-30%).
Boric acid, artificial graphite, fixed carbon greater that 95%), and petroleum coke (fixed Carbon greater than 85%) are the most common raw materials used for B4C synthesization by an electric arc furnace. The theoretical dosage is determined according to the reaction equation. About 2% is the theoretical amount. 50 percent of the total carbon addition amount comes from petroleum coke and artificial graphite. This is about 3%-4% higher than the theoretical value. By reducing or carbonizing the furnace between 1700 and 2300, the three ingredients can be mixed together in a mill. To obtain different particle sizes of B4C, the frit must be separated, washed, pickedled, sedimentation, and classified.
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