Berat KAPAR, BSc. Student
Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
Yıldız Technical University
Low Cost Synthesis of Boron Carbide
Co-Supervisors: Oğuz Karaahmet, Yasin Bozkurt Yılmaz
Boron carbide is characterized by a unique combination of properties, such as, high melting point (2447 °C), high hardness (28–35 GPa Knoop hardness), low density (2.52×103 kg/m3), high Young's modulus (450–470 GPa), high corrosion and oxidation resistance. This properties make it a material of choice for a wide range of engineering applications. Boron carbide is used in refractory applications due to its high melting point and thermal stability; it is used as abrasive powders and coatings due to its extreme abrasion resistance; it excels in ballistic performance due to its high hardness and low density; and it is commonly used in nuclear applications as neutron radiation absorbent. In addition, boron carbide is a high temperature semiconductor that can potentially be used for novel electronic applications.  There are several methods for boron carbide production such as; carbothermal reduction, synthesis from elements, magnesiothermic reduction, chemical vapor decomposition, synthesis from polymer precursors. Carbothermic reduction process is an economic method to produce boron carbide powder. This method is utilized to produce a boron carbide powder using commercial purity raw materials. Boron oxide as a source of boron, and carbon active as reducing agents is used. Mixtures of boron oxide and carbon bearing material is placed in a graphite crucible and heated under a flow of argon atmosphere in a tube furnace to 1400–1550 °C . This result in the formation of boron carbide powder with or without un-reacted starting raw materials. Our study is aimed to produce low-cost, high purity boron carbide. To achieve this, we try various methods such as condensing precursor powders, using catalysts, low temperature synthesis to save energy.
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