Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Is it possible to fuse carbon fiber and diamonds to form a harder material?

13enigma - 24-11-2017 at 16:31

Is it possible to form a material harder than q-carbon?

Vosoryx - 24-11-2017 at 21:55

Your first question, the one posted in the subject, makes no sense at all. Ignoring the implications of the term fuse, carbon fiber is not hard at all, so mixing it with a substance such as diamond would just serve to make the diamond less hard. Some sources say carbon fiber is only as hard as graphite - imagine mixing diamonds with pencil lead to make something hard. Since there would be no possible chemical reactions taking place, it wouldn't work. (...Is my hypothesis - please prove me wrong if you can.)
Your second question, "is a material harder than q-carbon possible", is not one that we know the answer to right now. Before we discovered q-carbon, diamonds were. Now they're not. Maybe, sometime in the future, someone will find something else out about some other material that is harder. It could be another allotrope of C, but maybe not - we just don't know.


ninhydric1 - 24-11-2017 at 22:40

You can indeed make graphene from graphite, which indeed is a surprisingly strong material with numerous applications in industry. I believe a SciMad member has made a video about it (I forgot his username though):

EDIT: Well that was a bit off-topic, but it is somewhat "making" graphite into a stronger material.

[Edited on 11-25-2017 by ninhydric1]

chornedsnorkack - 25-11-2017 at 04:31

Carbonado is stronger than diamond because the large amount of graphite defects in carbonado and various crystallite orientations hamper propagation of cleavages and cracks.

Nephrite is famously tough stone because it consists of tangled fibrous crystallites of actinolite and tremolite. Both of which also form asbestos... when they are not sufficiently sintered, and form a loose soft mass.

So is it possible to form a form of carbon which is consolidated to a nephrite-like extent - enough to be hard and stiff, but sufficiently inhomogenous and fibrous to defeat crack propagation?