Processing factors influencing the free carbon contents in boron carbide powder by rapid carbothermal reduction

Yong Gao, Anthony Etzold, Tyler Munhollon, William Rafaniello, Richard Haber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


High quality boron carbide powder without free carbon is desired for many applications. In this study, the factors that influence free carbon content in boron carbide powders synthesized by rapid carbothermal reduction reaction were evaluated. The dominant factors affecting free carbon contents in boron carbide powder were reaction temperature, precursor homogeneity, the particle size of reactants, and excess boron reactant amount. The reaction temperature at 1850°C was sufficient to synthesize boron carbide with low free carbon content. Depending on process conditions, precursor homogeneity was also affected by the calcination temperature and time. Smaller particle size of reactants contributed to less carbon content and more uniformity in synthesized boron carbide. Excess boric acid effectively compensated for B2O3 volatilization. In the optimal sample, using 80 mol% excess nano boric acid and calcined at 500°C, the free carbon in the synthesized boron carbide was negligible (0.048 wt.%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-20
Number of pages7
JournalDiamond and Related Materials
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Boron carbide powder
  • Carbothermal reduction
  • Free carbon
  • Processing factors

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