What is BAM AlMgB14 Powder?

Introduction to BAM Powder AlMgB14

Magnesium aluminum boride



The common name for this is


It is composed of aluminum, magnesium and boron. It has a nominal molecular structure.


, and its chemical structure is closer to



It is a ceramic alloy with very high wear resistance, very low sliding friction coefficient and very high wear resistance. This alloy achieved a record 0.04 in the unlubricated AlMGB14–TiB2 compound and 0.02 when lubricated.

BAM was first described in 1970. It is an orthogonal structure with four B12 units per cell. This super-hard material’s thermal expansion coefficient is comparable to concrete and steel.

Physicochemical properties of BAM AlMgB14 powder


Most super-hard materials feature simple, highly symmetrical, crystal structures such as diamond cubes and sphalerite. BAM has 64 atoms in each cell, but a more complex and low-symmetry crystal structure. The crystal cell’s most distinctive feature is the four boron-containing, orthogonal icosahedrons. Each icosahedron is composed of 12 boron atoms. The eight remaining boron elements connect the icosahedron with the other elements within the cell. The lattice has less than one metal site, so the material is often identified with the molecular formula AlMgB14. But its chemical composition is closer Al 0.75 mg 0.75 B14. This is not uncommon for Borides (for boron-rich Metals, see Boride and Borin Caride Crystal Structures). BAM cell parameters are: a = 1.0313, B =0.8115, C = 0.5848, Z = 4, space group Imma and Pearson symbol oI68. Density is 2.59 g/cm3. The melting temperature is approximately 2000°C.


BAM has an energy bandgap of 1.5 eV. The resistance depends on the purity of the sample and is approximately 104Ohm*cm. The Seebeck coefficient ranges between -5.4 to -8.0mV/K. This is due to electron transfer from metal atoms onto the boron Icosahedron. This property can be useful in thermoelectric applications.

The hardness and the toughness to break

BAM powders are microhardened to 32-35GPa. You can increase it to 45GPa with nitrization of boron rich titanium alloy. Also, the fracture toughness may be increased by TiB2 or deposition quasi-amorphous BAM materials. It will lose its hardness if you add AlN or TiC. BAM is super-hard by definition if it has a hardness value above 40GPa. BAM-TiB2 Composites are characterized by a 60 vol.% TiB2 content. This is the highest level of hardness and toughness. The wear rate of BAM-TiB2 composites was increased by increasing TiB2 content from 70 to 80% to about 10%. The titanium B2 additve is a wear-resistant metal with a hardness between 28 and 35gpa.

Thermal expansion

AlMgB14’s thermal growth coefficient (TEC), also known by thermal expansion coefficient, COTE was calculated as 9 x (10-6) (K-1), using expansion and high-temperature Xray diffraction with synchrotron radiation. This value is very close to the COTE of steel, titanium and concrete. Based on the AlMgB14 reported hardness value and the wear-resistant material itself, the COTE AlMgB14 is useful to determine the coating application and the performance of parts after use.


BAM and TiB2 are combined in a composite that has a friction coefficient of 0.04-0.05. This value is reduced to 0.02 by water glycol-based oils.

BAM AlMgB14 Powder Properties
Other Names Magnesium aluminum boride, Al3Mg3B56, BAM, AlMgB14
Molecular Weight 202.64
Appearance From gray to black powder
Aluminum Magnesium Boride BAM AlMgB14 Powder

BAM AlMgB14 Pulp Application

BAM is available commercially and is currently being studied for potential applications.

To reduce friction and improve wear resistance, for example, the pistons, seals, or blades of pumps can be coated in BAM, BAM + TiB2 with either BAM, or BAM+ TiB2. Reduced friction means less energy consumption. It is possible to coat cutting tools with BAM. This will decrease the amount of force required to cut an object, prolong tool life, and increase cutting speed. A coating of 2-3 microns thickness has been proven to increase tool efficiency and reduce wear.

BAM AlMgB14 Powder

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