Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Investigation of the properties of new superhard materials based on refractory compounds with high boron content

Work carried out over the last decade by the Institute for Problems in Materials Science (IPMS), Ukraine has identified a large number of promising superhard materials which, understandably, are on national strategic materials lists and not readily available to international scientists. Some of those materials have become available through this project and the research group at Aveira (led by Professor Ana Segadaes) has had an opportunity of investigating the preparation and consolidation of the powders whilst the department at Hull (EDM) have been able to compare the mechanical properties of these materials with the best materials produced elsewhere - Professor Chris Brookes has been funded (by De Beers) to research the properties of ultrahard materials since 1971.

The results confirm the broad range of hardness values obtained by IPMS and the fact that these materials are significantly softer than cubic boron nitride and diamond but are comparable with the hardest types of commonly used ceramics based on silicon carbide and silicon nitride. Therefore, it is unlikely that new materials based on these systems would penetrate the market other than, possibly, niche applications. However, IPMS have measured harnesses in the ultrahard range for a specially prepared material in the Ti-Ca-B series (20% CaB6) and one based on B4C. The Hull group are currently seeking to verify those measurements and, given a positive result, these particular materials will form the basis of a proposal for an extension of the current project

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University of Hull
Cottingham Road
HU6 7RX Hull
United Kingdom
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