Novel Processing of Boron Carbide (B4C): Plasma Synthesized Nano Powders and Pressureless Sintering Forming of Complex Shapes
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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Boron carbide, most often used in personnel armor systems, is rather difficult to form and is almost always densified from ceramic powders under heat and pressure. Recent developments by PPG and Georgia Tech are allowing for the full densification of nano-sized powders through a pressureless sintering route. PPG is manufacturing these powders in a plasma processing technique, and they are less expensive than traditionally produced powders. The powders are fonned directly in the plasma, and they can be doped with densification aids. Pressureless sintering teclmiques developed by Georgia Tech offers a low-cost processing route for B4C that was previously unavailable. Together both efforts will lead to boron carbide with shapes and sizes unavailable today and using a fine-grained domestically produced starting powder.
- Physical Chemistry