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Borazon

Feb 12, 1957

In 1957, the General Electric Company announced that Borazon, a material hard enough to scratch diamonds, had been created. Dr. Robert H. Wentorf, a research scientist at GE, had succeeded in synthesizing cubic boron nitride (CBN). The material was given the trade name "Borazon." It remains hard at temperatures at which diamond burns readily (about 1600 ºF), whereas Borazon can withstand temperatures of more than 3500 ºF. The hardness of diamond and borazon is approximately equal, each able to scratch the other. In actual lapping tests, Borazon powder has polished the surface of a large diamond at the same rate as the surface was polished by diamond powder. It is now used for abrasive tools for such industries as metalworking, stone, and mining.