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Meet The Crystal That Is Stronger Than A Diamond

Here’s a fun bonus: it’s made of gunpowder. How cool is that? Scientists have found an alternative material that is as strong as diamonds. The material, called lonsdaleite (also known as hexagonal diamond), is a rare six-sided crystalline mineral that has seldom been found in nature — generally only at meteorite impact sites. However, researchers from Washington State University's Institute for Shock Physics have developed their own hexagonal diamonds, as Free Think details: 

"Diamond is a very unique material," Yogendra Gupta, director of the Institute for Shock Physics and an author on the study, said in a statement. "It is not only the strongest — it has beautiful optical properties and a very high thermal conductivity. Now we have made the hexagonal form of diamond, produced under shock compression experiments, that is significantly stiffer and stronger than regular gem diamonds."
Using gunpowder and compressed gas, Gupta's team launched dime-sized graphite disks at a transparent material at 15,000 miles per hour.
Upon impact, shock waves coursed through the disks, transforming them into lonsdaleite

Image via Free Think 

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Did they mix their own gunpowder out of Saltpeter, Sulphur and Charcoal?
Or just used a commonly available off the shelf Smokeless powder (Cordite or similar)?

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Made "with" gunpowder, to launch the graphite disk. It's not made "of" gunpowder any more than my shoes are made of electricity. It's still diamond made of pure carbon. It's just arranged a bit differently due to the intense compression. That compression is so intense that the diamonds are destroyed by the same impact that created them.
Each process happened in several billionths of a second, or nanoseconds, but the researchers were able to make the stiffness measurements before the high velocity impact destroyed the diamond.
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