When you saw this link you where like “wtf?” then your curiosity grew, and now you want to know what the hardest elements on earth are. Well this article will detail what they are, a little bit about them, and where they come from. Without further adieu, the sometimes heaviest, always hardest, and occasionally most attractive elements on earth are… In order from hardest to weakest, wurtzite boron nitride, mineral lonsdaleite, diamond, and borazon or cubic boron nitride.
First hardest element on earth,
Wurtzite boron nitride is a very rare element not often found in nature, and is said to be stronger then diamond. Wurtzite boron nitride features a structure very similar to diamond, but with a few improvements. The atomic structure of Wurtzite boron nitride while being similar to a diamonds structure is composed of different materials. These different materials seem to make it stronger.
Second hardest element on earth,
Mineral lonsdaleite also known as hexagonal diamond is made from the same materials as diamond. However, it has a slightly different structure. This element is extremely rare in nature and because of this measurements of hardness have only really been done on paper. While this material would make a more then suitable replacement for diamond in drilling it’s rarity will not allow for it.
Third hardest element on earth,
Diamond, everyone knows what diamonds are but maybe some of you didn’t realize that it is the hardest natural element known to man, or at least it was until the two above this one were discovered. Diamonds are pretty and women love them, but they serve a greater purpose as well. Drillers have been using diamond tips for years to make their drills last longer when drilling through the earths crust for oil, or even in commercial tools for drilling through metals back in the fifties. Another material became widely available and it was more abundant then diamonds, albeit a bit softer. The price makes it much more appealing to drillers which brings us to the last material on this list.
Fourth hardest element on earth,
Borazon or cubic boron nitride, this material has been known of for quite some time, and was used as a cheaper alternative to diamond. Diamonds rarity makes it less useful in industrial applications, and since borazon can be manufactured it makes a more cost effective solution.
While all this may seem very interesting something to note is that despite these materials having been known for their hardness. The top two elements cannot be currently reproduced, and this makes them nearly worthless. While diamond is still very rare and as such is expensive, the hardest usable element known to man would have to go to borazon, because it’s more widely available.