Shock-Induced Localized Amorphization in Boron Carbide

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Science  07 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5612, pp. 1563-1566
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080819

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High-resolution electron microscope observations of shock-loaded boron carbide have revealed the formation of nanoscale intragranular amorphous bands that occur parallel to specific crystallographic planes and contiguously with apparent cleaved fracture surfaces. This damage mechanism explains the measured, but not previously understood, decrease in the ballistic performance of boron carbide at high impact rates and pressures. The formation of these amorphous bands is also an example of how shock loading can result in the synthesis of novel structures and materials with substantially altered properties.

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