Boron Carbide Thermal Conductivity

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Boron carbide is a hard metal that is used in many high-performance applications. It has an excellent combination of properties such as hardness and toughness. It is an excellent material for body and vehicle armor and control rods, shielding materials, and neutron detectors in nuclear reactors.

boron carbide thermal conductivity

Boron carbide (B4C) is one of the hardest materials after diamond and cubic boron nitride. It is also a highly desirable material for ballistic armored vest and has been widely studied as a potential class of thermoelectric materials for energy harvesting [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].


Thermophysical properties and neutron-protective characteristics of an Al/B4C composite with a boron carbide content of 20 wt% and technically pure aluminum in the temperature range from 100 to 600degC were investigated using a series of experimental tests and theoretical calculations. The results indicate that the composite is able to withstand gamma radiation and is therefore considered suitable for use as a neutron-protective material in the nuclear industry.

boron carbide thermal expansion

The mechanical and neutron-protective properties of the Al/B4C composite were found to be influenced mainly by the shape of the dispersoids (fiber, particle), the boron carbide content, the method of production (powder metallurgy, extrusion in the liquid phase, hot rolling, spark plasma sintering), and the initial composition. The highest tensile strength of the composite is 500 MPa and its Young’s modulus of elasticity is N/A.

Plating boron carbide on diamonds provides a significant increase in the thermal conductivity of the diamond/Cu (C0) and diamond/B4C (C1-3) composites. The thermal conductivity of the diamond/Cu (C0) composite was 210 W/mK and the thermal conductivity of the diamond/B4C (C1-3) was 687 W/mK after six hours of coating.