Synthesis and Thermal Oxidation Resistance of Boron-Rich Boron–Carbide Material

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A boron-rich boron–carbide material (B4+δC) was synthesized by spark plasma sintering of a ball-milled mixture of high-purity boron powder and graphitic carbon at a pressure of 7 MPa and a temperature of 1930 °C. This high-pressure, high-temperature synthesized material was recovered and characterized by X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, Vickers hardness measurements, and thermal oxidation studies. The X-ray diffraction studies revealed a single-phase rhombohedral structure (space group R-3m) with lattice parameters in hexagonal representation as a = 5.609 ± 0.007 Å and c = 12.082 ± 0.02 Å. The experimental lattice parameters result in a value of δ = 0.55, or the composition of the synthesized compound as B4.55C. The high-resolution scans of boron binding energy reveal the existence of a B-C bond at 188.5 eV. Raman spectroscopy reveals the existence of a 386 cm−1 vibrational mode representative of C-B-B linear chain formation due to excess boron in the lattice. The measured Vickers microhardness at a load of 200 gf shows a high hardness value of 33.8 ± 2.3 GPa. Thermal gravimetric studies on B4.55C were conducted at a temperature of 1300 °C in a compressed dry air environment, and its behavior is compared to other high-temperature ceramic materials such as high-entropy transition metal boride. The high neutron absorption cross section, high melting point, high mechanical strength, and thermal oxidation resistance make this material ideal for applications in extreme environments.


Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy

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