Adding a little ultrathin hexagonal boron nitride to ceramics could give them outstanding properties, according to new research.
Rouzbeh Shahsavari, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University, suggests the incorporation of ultrathin hBN sheets between layers of calcium-silicates would make an interesting bilayer crystal with multifunctional properties.
These could be suitable for construction and refractory materials and applications in the nuclear industry, oil and gas, aerospace, and other areas that require high-performance composites.
Combining the materials would make a ceramic that’s not only tough and durable but resistant to heat and radiation. By Shahsavari’s calculations, calcium-silicates with inserted layers of two-dimensional hBN could be hardened enough to serve as shielding in nuclear applications like power plants.