The 5 strongest materials on earth
Geology: The strongest material that occurs naturally is literally made by shooting stars. Check out our top five list below.
We have discovered more than 3500 materials and more are added to this list every year. But witch one is really the hardest? A tenacious myth is that diamond is the hardest, but that is not correct.
5. Boron carbide:
Has a rating on the Vickers Hardness scale of >30. It was discovered in the 19th century and is an attractive absorbent in nuclear power plants. Used in tank armor, bulletproof vests, engine sabotage powders and many other industrial applications.
This crystal is made by heating equal quantities of nitrogen and boron at more than 1800C at 7 GPa. Its color ranges from brown and gold to black. It is used in many different industrial areas where toughness is important.
First mined in India 1000-3000BC this gem stone is one of the world most valuable and treasured minerals. Today diamonds are used in everything from wedding rings to space crafts and many of todays diamonds are made industrially.
2. Wurtzite boron nitride
It’s 18% harder than diamond and it is made up of nitrogen and boron atoms in a hexagon crystalline structure.
58% harder than diamond and is often called hexagonal diamond. It is an allotrope of carbon with a hexagonal lattice. Lonsdaleite is made in nature when meteorites containing graphite hits the ground. The immense pressure, stress and heat from the impact transform the graphite into diamond, all the while retains its hexagonal crystal lattice.