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Boron Carbide Filament?

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Posted · Boron Carbide Filament?

With apologies if I am way behind the times.


Reading the great article on the origin of the ruby tip, I found the choice of material interesting.  Is this filament in use outside of the research sphere?  What is it best for?


Thanks in advance.



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Posted · Boron Carbide Filament?

You should probably post this question on the AMA thread so it gets asked to the XSTRAND people:



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Posted · Boron Carbide Filament?

Or ask @Anders Olsson himself. The AMA thread will be populated by 2 Owens Corning experts, unless they stock and work with Boron Carbide they may not know the answer. 

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Posted · Boron Carbide Filament?

The only reason for us to use boron carbide is that we want to absorb neutrons and boron (the 10 isotope) has very good properties for this.


Boron Carbide is a chemically stable reasonably priced ceramic powder with high boron content (four boron atoms and one carbon atom).

While a softer material with high boron content would have been preferable, there are no such options in a reasonable price range.


Other uses is for example as a grinding powder, which explains why it eats 3D printer nozzles ?


That is the basic reason behind the Olsson block and the Olsson Ruby nozzle, summed up in a few sentences ?


If you are interested in further reading, we have published much of our work in an open access article: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1402-4896/aa694e

(Check out the Supplementary Data too for information about the Olsson block and other stuff)


There is currently no commercial production of boron carbide filament but there might be in the future.

Be ware though, if you even come across it, that boron carbide is one of few materials which is harder than ruby, so it will slowly wear the ruby.

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