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Only small amounts of wurtzite boron nitride and lonsdaleite exist naturally or are made in the laboratory

wallpapers News 2021-06-09
Diamonds are always a girl's best friend, but they may soon be falling out of favor with industrial drillers.
Not long ago, man-made nanomaterials replaced the gem as the hardest material in the world. Now, a rare natural substance may leave them far behind -- it's 58 percent harder than diamonds.
Zicheng Pan of Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China and his colleagues modeled how the atoms in two substances considered promising as very rigid materials would react to the downward pressure exerted by tiny tip probes.
Under extreme conditions
The first, wurtzite boron nitride, is similar in structure to diamond but consists of different atoms.
The second, the mineral lonsdaleite, or hexagonal diamond, is made of carbon atoms, just like diamonds, but they are arranged in a different shape.
Only small amounts of wurtzite boron nitride and lonsdaleite exist naturally or are made in the laboratory, so until now no one had realized their superior strength. The simulation results showed that Wurtzide boron nitride withstood 18% more pressure than diamond, while Lonsdaleite withstood 58% more pressure. If the results are confirmed by physical experiments, then the two materials will be much stronger than anything ever measured.
"Lanstarite is sometimes formed when meteorites containing graphite hit the Earth."
But doing these tests isn't easy. Because both substances are rare in nature, away was needed to make enough of them to test the prediction.
The rare mineral Lonsdalite is sometimes formed when meteorites containing graphite hit the Earth, while wurtzite boron nitride is formed when volcanic eruptions generate very high temperatures and pressures.

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