Chemists from Russia and China have predicted a new superhard material that can be used in drilling, machine building and other fields. The new tungsten boride they discovered outperforms the widely used 'pobedit' ? a hard tungsten carbide and cobalt composite material with artificial diamond interspersing. The results of their study were published in the reputable scientific journal, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.
Superhard substances have a broad scope of application spanning well drilling, machine building, metalworking, defense industry, surgery and many other fields. The hardest known material, diamond is an unaffordable luxury in many applications.
Its distant competitor, pobedit, has remained unrivaled for the last 80 years. Developed in the 1930s, it was used during the Second World War to make anti-tank shell caps (the word 'pobedit' is actually derived from the Russian 'pobeda' which means victory) and has been used for decades to manufacture drill bits for the drilling rigs. Harder materials either require higher-pressure synthesis or have much lower fracture toughness.
A team of Skoltech scientists led by Professor Artem Oganov used their USPEX evolutionary algorithm to predict a new material, WB5, that can be synthesized at normal pressure and can successfully compete with pobedit in the two most essential parameters ? hardness and fracture toughness ? which are 50% higher and 20% lower, respectively, for WB5 as compared to pobedit.
The new material is a previously unknown compound that can be easily obtained under normal conditions. The Skoltech scientists performed their study within the framework of Gazprom Neft's large-scale project aimed at creating new materials for drilling applications.
"Before we discovered the new material, we had studied a lot of systems on the computer, trying to predict stable chemical compounds and calculate their properties. These were quite interesting substances, although they could hardly compete with pobedit. At some point I thought we would never beat pobedit which has stood its ground for almost a century ? and for good reason. But suddenly we saw a glimmer of hope and soon found a unique compound, WB5," says the study lead Artem Oganov.
"The tungsten-boron system has been the subject of a multitude of experimental and theoretical studies, and it is surprising that this compound has not been discovered till now," says the first author Dr. Alexander Kvashnin.
Ilyana Zolotareva | EurekAlert!
3D inks that can be erased selectively
16.08.2018 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
Designing Nanocrystals for more efficient Optoelectronics
16.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences
16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences