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Boron Carbide

Family Overview

Boron carbide (B4C) is one of the world's hardest manufactured materials. Its strong chemical bonds and hard surface minimize wear in rigorous environments. Boron carbides are often used in ballistic armor, taking advantage of exceptional hardness and low density. The hardness provides excellent protection, while the light-weight maximizes mobility. Additionally, the uniquely structured boron carbide can be used for neutron shielding.

  • Low density
  • Exceptional hardness
  • Neutron absorbing 

Reaction Bonded Boron Carbide

Reaction bonded boron carbide (B4C) is primarily used ballistic armor, providing excellent protection while reducing weight as compared to other armor materials.

Hot Pressed Boron Carbide

Hot-pressed, also known as pressure assisted densified (PAD), boron carbide is one of the hardest materials available in commercial shapes. This exceptional hardness combined with low density is used in ballistic armor, maximizing protection while minimizing weight.

Sintered Boron Carbide

Pressureless sintered boron carbide combines high purity and the excellent mechanical properties of boron carbide for use in both ballistic armor and semiconductor manufacturing.

Ceramic Expertise

CoorsTek has a dedicated team tasked with helping create armor solutions in addition to decades of boron carbide manufacturing experience.

Properties Units Reaction Bonded
Boron Carbide
Hot Pressed
Boron Carbide
Boron Carbide
Flexural Strength, MOR (20 °C) MPa 250 320 - 450 450
Fracture Toughness, KIc MPa m1/2 3.0 - 4.0 3.0 - 4.0 3.0 - 5.0

Thermal Conductivity (20 °C)

W/m K 50 45 - 100 43 - 100
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion 1x10-6/°C 4.5 4.5 - 4.9 4.5 - 4.9
Maximum Use Temperature °C 1000 2000
Dielectric Strength (6.35mm) ac-kV/mm
Dielectric Loss (tan δ) 1MHz, 25 °C
Volume Resistivity (25°C) Ω-cm 10³ 100 10