Structure and mechanical properties of boron-rich boron carbides

Chun Cheng, Kolan M. Reddy, Akihiko Hirata, Takeshi Fujita, Mingwei Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


A series of boron-rich boron carbides are investigated to explore the effect of boron/carbon ratios on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the complex material. It has been found that excess boron substitution gives rise to expanded lattice constants, orientational asymmetry of the chain structure and distortion of the icosahedra of rhombohedra B4C units in comparison with conventional carbon-rich boron carbides. Microstructure characterization reveals a high density of stacking faults and growth twins in boron-rich boron carbides. Nanoindentation measurements demonstrate that the hardness and modulus of boron-rich boron carbides decrease with the increase of boron content while the B10.2C sample with the highest boron substitution shows relatively high hardness and modulus. This study suggests that the structure of single-phase covalent materials could be tailored by self-alloying for improved mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4514-4523
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Boron carbide
  • Cs-corrected TEM
  • Mechanical properties
  • Microstructure
  • Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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