We have plenty of the Hardest Materials which are naturally present in our environment and some are man-made. Most often, Diamond is considered to be the hardest material ever known, but there are some other materials as well which have snatched this title from the diamond.
Hardest Materials on Earth
So, here we present to you the list of the Top 10 Hardest Materials in the World:
Chemically represented as Al2O3, alumina is the common name for Aluminium oxide. Crystalline Polymorphous is the most common form of this chemical. Other varieties of this compound are ruby, sapphire, etc. where color is due to some impurities. It is widely used for the extraction of Aluminium and as a refractory material due to its high melting point. It is water-insoluble, resistive to electricity, and has high thermal conductivity. Due to its hardness, it is used in cutting tools and as an abrasive.
9. Zirconium Carbide
Chemically represented as ZrC, zirconium carbide is a ceramic material that looks like grey metallic powder. Having high corrosion resistance and hardness, it is extensively used in manufacturing cutting tools. It is formed by a strong lattice bond between Zr and carbon. It is extensively used in jet engines, rockets, vehicles, etc. due to its load-bearing capacity. Another common form of ZrC is used in coating the refractory in nuclear reactors.
8. Titanium Carbide
Chemically represented as TiC, titanium carbide is made from ceramic material and resembles tungsten carbide with the appearance of black powder. It is widely used in preparing cermets which are used in the high-speed cutting of steel materials. It is resistant to corrosion and getting oxidized. Its melting point is 3160 degrees Celsius, so it is used as a heat shield in space crafts and rockets. Moreover, if we add 6-30% more titanium, then the solution will be more brittle than the original TiC.
7. Titanium Diboride
Chemically represented as TiB2, titanium diboride is a very hard ceramic substance. But it has good electrical conductivity and resistance to mechanical erosion. It has properties just like TiC but is superior to them. It is three times harder than fully hardened steel. Due to resistance to oxide, it is more stable than TiC and even pure iron. It is not a natural substance but is prepared in laboratories using high-temperature and pressure techniques.
6. Rhenium Diboride
Chemically represented as ReB2, it is the strongest man-made compound. The synthetic compound is available at a very cheap rate due to its low production cost but rhenium as a metal is very expensive. This compound was first synthesized in 1962. By its appearance, it resembles black powder which is insoluble in water. In terms of hardness, it is comparable to a diamond. The reason behind its excessive hardness is the density of valance electrons which is very high and the short covalent bond.
5. Boron Carbide
Chemically represented as B4C, boron carbide was found in the 19th century. Due to its hardness, it is widely used in bullet-proof vests, tanks, armors and other industrial uses. It can easily absorb neutron radiation which makes it an ideal substance to use in nuclear plant shielding. It remains stable even in ionizing radiations and other chemicals. It is also used in jet nozzles, resistant coating, brake linings, blasting nozzles, and many more areas.
Chemically represented as CBN, Borazon is the commercial name for cubic boron nitride. It is available in abundance and cheap. Borazon is obtained by heating an equal amount of boron and nitrogen at temperatures more than 1800 degrees Celsius. Being cheaper, they act as a substitute for the damn expensive diamonds. It is the reason that it is used in making cutting tools, knives, turbines, blades, saw blades, grinding steels, surgical knives, paper mill rolls, etc.
They are made up of carbon atoms and under very high pressure for a very long time around 1 to 3.3 billion years. As they are formed under high pressure, so they are very hard in nature. The bonds between carbon atoms are unbreakable. Due to their hard nature, they are extensively used in drilling, cutting, polishing, and other fields. As they have a property to reflect and refract the light, so they are widely used in the jewelry business as they look beautiful and shine as well.
Made from carbon atoms, Lonsdaleite is translucent and brownish-yellow in color. Several studies and simulations have shown that it can handle 585 more stress than diamonds. It is found naturally only when graphite-containing meteoroids fall on the earth and hit the surface. So, due to this, it is very rare in nature. As it is rare in nature, so many experiments are going on to make this material in laboratories in some feasible ways.
1. Wurtzite Boron Nitride
The structure of this material is also just like a diamond but it is made up of some other atoms instead of carbon. This material is also found naturally, so it cannot be wasted in laboratories. It is formed during volcanic eruptions with high temperatures and pressure. It is believed that it can handle 18% more stress than diamonds can handle which is due to the re-orientation of the flexible bonds and the more complex structure than diamonds. After the re-orientation process, it becomes 80% harder than a diamond. Thus, it is the strongest material present on earth.
What is the hardest substance on earth?
Wurtzite Boron Nitride is the hardest substance in existence.
That is the Best Hardest Material on Earth “List”!