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Hexagonal Boron Nitride is 10 Times Stronger Than Graphene

The US Commerce Secretary has announced that the US will temporarily lift tariffs imposed on Ukraine during the Trump administration to help Ukraine recover its economy and continue to show support for the Russia-Ukraine situation. "For steel mills to remain an economic lifeline for the Ukrainian people, they must be able to export steel," the Commerce Department said in a statement.

The Biden administration will announce the lifting of steel tariffs on Ukraine for one year.  Ukraine is a fairly small supplier of U.S. steel, shipping about 218,000 tons in 2019, ranking it 12th among foreign suppliers to the United States, the report said. The U.S. Commerce Department noted that the steel industry is uniquely important to Ukraine's economic strength, with one in 13 people employed in the steel industry. 

Affected by the ever-changing international situation, the supply and prices of international bulk boron nitride are still very uncertain.

Hexagonal boron nitride (H-BN) is a two-dimensional layered broadband-gap insulating material with good heat resistance, chemical stability, and dielectric properties. It is widely used in electronic devices.

Hexagonal boron nitride is structurally similar to graphene, consisting of a planar lattice of atoms arranged in interconnected hexagons. The only difference is that in graphene, all atoms are carbon, whereas, in H-BN, each hexagon contains three nitrogen atoms and three boron atoms.




Carbon-carbon bonds are among the strongest, so graphene is theoretically much stronger than H-BN. The strength and elastic modulus of the two materials are similar, and h-BN is slightly lower in comparison: graphene has a strength of about 130GPa and young's modulus of about 1.0TPa; The strength and modulus of H-BN are 100GPa and 0.8 TPA, respectively.
Despite its excellent mechanical properties, graphene has low crack resistance, which means graphene is brittle.
 
In 1921, British engineer Griffiths published a theoretical study of fracture mechanics, describing the failure of brittle materials and the relationship between the size of cracks in materials and the force required to make them grow. For hundreds of years, scientists and engineers have used this theory to predict and define the toughness of materials.
In 2014, a study by Professor Jun Lou and his team at Rice University showed that graphene's fracture toughness is consistent with Griffith's theory of fracture mechanics: when the stress applied to graphene is greater than the force holding it together, the cracks propagate, And the energy difference is released during crack propagation. 
H-bn is also thought to be vulnerable, given its structural similarity to graphene. However, this is not the case.
 
The scientists found that H-BN is 10 times more ductile than graphene. 
A team led by Prof. Jun Lou of Rice University and Prof. Hua Jian Gao of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore has found that the brittle H-BN is 10 times stronger than graphene in cracking resistance.  This finding runs counter to Griffith's fracture theory, and such anomalies have never been observed before in two-dimensional materials.  The related research results were published in Nature with the title "Intrinsic Toughening and stable crack propagation in Hexagonal Boron nitride". 
 
Mechanism Behind H-BN's Extraordinary Toughness 
To find out why, the team applied stress to the H-BN sample, using scanning electron microscopes and transmission electron microscopes to see as much as possible how the cracks occurred. After more than 1,000 hours of experiments and subsequent theoretical analysis, they discovered the mystery. 



Although graphene and H-Bn may be structurally similar, boron and nitrogen atoms are not the same, so there is an asymmetric arrangement of hexagonal lattice intrinsic in H-BN, unlike the carbon hexagon in graphene. That is, in graphene, the cracks tend to go straight through the symmetrical hexagonal structure from top to bottom, opening the bond like a zipper. The hexagonal structure of H-BN is slightly asymmetric due to the stress contrast between boron and nitrogen, and this inherent asymmetry of the lattice causes cracks to bifurcate, forming branches. 
And if the crack bifurcates, that means it's rotating. The existence of this steering crack requires additional energy to further promote the crack propagation, which makes the crack more difficult to propagate and effectively enhances the toughness of the material. That's why H-Bn shows more elasticity than graphene.
 
Due to its excellent heat resistance, chemical stability, and dielectric properties, H-BN has become an extremely important material for two-dimensional electronic and other 2-bit devices, not only as a support base but also as an insulating layer between electronic components. Today, h-BN's toughness makes it an ideal choice for flexible electronics and is important for the development of flexible 2D materials for applications such as two-dimensional electronics.
In the future, as well as being used in flexible electronic textiles, h-BN could also be used as flexible electronic skin and implantable electronics that can be connected directly to the brain.
 
Boron Nitride BN Powder Price
The price is influenced by many factors including the supply and demand in the market, industry trends, economic activity, market sentiment, and unexpected events.
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The World Food Program (WFP) of the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) said in a statement that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine poses risks to global food supplies, and called on the international community to increase support for vulnerable countries and jointly address food security challenges. 

A few days ago, the Executive director of the World Food Program, the European Commission's commissioner in charge of crisis management, the French Foreign Minister of the ROTATING EU presidency, and other officials held a meeting in Rome, Italy, to discuss how to deal with the negative impact of the Conflict between Russia and Ukraine on global food security. 

One of the officials told a news conference after the meeting that the world was facing a food supply challenge that would "last for many years" as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine pushed up global food prices and disrupted the boron nitride will continue.

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