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Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN)

Hexagonal boron nitride (HBN), a typical form of boron nitride ceramics often dubbed "white graphite," is a white powder known for its similarity to graphite in both crystal structure and physicochemical properties. With outstanding electrical insulation, high thermal conductivity, and chemical resistance, HBN finds versatile applications across industries. Its low density, high-temperature stability, and chemical inertness make it a favored choice for lightweight, heat-efficient, and chemically stable materials.

HBN's unique combination of properties positions it as a valuable material for diverse applications. Its low density and excellent thermal conductivity suit it for lightweight components with efficient heat dissipation needs, while its chemical inertness ensures stability in the presence of organic solvents and corrosive chemicals. The high-temperature stability of HBN adds to its utility, making it a dependable option in environments with extreme conditions. Whether in electronics, chemical engineering, or materials science, hexagonal boron nitride continues to stand out as a versatile and reliable material.

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Hexagonal Boron Nitride Structure

Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) possesses a layered crystal structure similar to graphite, contributing to its moniker "white graphite." In this structure, each boron atom is bonded to three nitrogen atoms, forming hexagonal layers. The layers are held together by weak van der Waals forces, allowing them to easily slide over each other. The hexagonal arrangement of boron and nitrogen atoms creates a two-dimensional lattice, resulting in a planar structure.

The distinctive feature of h-BN is its alternating arrangement of boron and nitrogen atoms in hexagonal rings, providing the material with unique properties. This crystal structure imparts excellent electrical insulation, high thermal conductivity, and chemical stability to hexagonal boron nitride, making it a valuable material in various industrial applications. Additionally, the layered structure influences its lubricating properties and contributes to its resemblance to graphite, despite having different properties.

Read more: Hexagonal Boron Nitride vs. Graphene, Hexagonal Boron Nitride VS. Cubic Boron Nitride

Hexagonal Boron Nitride Specification

Physical Properties
Chemical Formula BN
Density (g/cm3) 2.28
Color white
Crystal Structure hexagonal
Water Absorption % @R.T. 0.0-1.0
Hardness Mohs 2
Mechanical Properties
Compressive Strength MPa @ R.T. 23.5
Tensile Strength MPa @ R.T. 2.41(1000ºC)
Modulus of Elasticity (Young's Mod.) Gpa 675
Flexural Strength (MOR) MPa @ R.T. 51.8
Electrical Properties
Dielectric Constant 1MHz @ R.T. 4.08
Dielectric Strength kV/mm 374
Electrical Resistivity Wcm @ R.T. 10^13
Thermal Properties
Max. Use Temperature (* denotes inert atm.) ºC 985
Thermal Shock Resistance DT (ºC) >1500
Thermal Conductivity W/m-K @ R.T. 20

Hexagonal Boron Nitride Applications

Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), also known as "white graphite," is a material with diverse applications, thanks to its unique properties. Here's a breakdown of its versatile use across different industries:

Plasma Arc Welding:

Semiconductor Manufacturing:

Read more: Hexagonal Boron Nitride Used as A Substrate for 2D Materials

Powder Metal Processing:

Aluminum Metal Processing:

Tool and Die Manufacturing:

ACM Ceramic Product Video

Your HBN Ceramics Supplier

Advanced Ceramic Materials is a leading supplier of hexagonal boron nitride ceramic products of the highest quality for a wide range of applications. We are happy to provide advice on materials, design, and application. Feel free to contact us with any questions about HBN or other ceramic materials that are not listed on the website. 

What Is the Crystal Structure of HBN?
Hexagonal Boron Nitride has a crystal structure similar to that of graphite, with boron and nitrogen atoms arranged in hexagonal layers that are stacked on top of each other. However, unlike graphite, hBN is an insulator with a wide band gap.
How Does HBN Compare to Other Materials with Similar Properties?
Hexagonal Boron Nitride is often compared to other materials such as graphite and diamond due to its unique properties. While graphite is a good conductor of electricity and has a low thermal conductivity, hBN has a high thermal conductivity and is an excellent insulator. Diamond, on the other hand, is known for its extreme hardness, while hBN is a good lubricant.
How Is HBN Synthesized?
There are several methods for synthesizing Hexagonal Boron Nitride, including chemical vapor deposition (CVD), reactive hot pressing (RHP), and annealing of boron nitride precursors. The most common method for producing hBN in large quantities is through the use of high-temperature and high-pressure conditions.
How Does the Thermal Conductivity of HBN Compare to Other Materials?
The thermal conductivity of Hexagonal Boron Nitride is among the highest of any known material, with values ranging from 200-400 W/mK at room temperature. This is comparable to the thermal conductivity of copper and silver, which are some of the best thermal conductors among metals.
What Makes Hexagonal Boron Nitride Suitable for Plasma Arc Welding Applications?
Hexagonal Boron Nitride is used in plasma arc welding due to its high thermal stability. As a protective coating, it prevents the adhesion of molten metal during welding, acting as an effective release agent and contributing to the efficiency of the welding process.
Why Is Hexagonal Boron Nitride Chosen as A Coating Material in Tool and Die Manufacturing?
Hexagonal Boron Nitride is utilized in tool and die manufacturing as a coating material for cutting tools. Its hardness, wear resistance, and thermal stability contribute to prolonged tool life, enhancing machining performance and making it a valuable component in precision tool and die production.
What Role Does Hexagonal Boron Nitride Play in Powder Metal Processing?
Hexagonal Boron Nitride functions as a solid lubricant in powder metal processing, reducing friction and wear between metal powders. This property enhances the efficiency of powder metallurgy component production, contributing to the manufacturing of high-performance components.
Hexagonal Boron Nitride Product Brochure
Technical brochure for Hexagonal Boron Nitride Materials, all grades. Revision March 2023.
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