B4C, is an extremely hard ceramic material discovered in 1899. It is the third hardest material known, after diamond and cubic boron nitride. The Mohs hardness of this boron carbide ceramic is about 9.49 and it was applied widely in industries as wearing resistant material, abrasive.
Boron carbide is the most important ceramic material for ceramic armor. This carbide ceramic is used in tank armor and bulletproof vests. Boron carbide is extremely hard to be penetrate by a single shot. What is more, boron carbide material is relatively lighted weighted, with a true solid density of about 2.5g/cm3. Recently, several countries are trying to provide extra protection for their combat vehicles, not only for solders.
As B4C has a great ability to absorb neutrons, it is considered an important material to make shielding, control rods and shut down pellets for nuclear power plants. Boron carbide could absorb neutrons without forming long-life radionuclides, which is a significant advantage.
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