Hafnium diboride is often combined with carbon, boron, silicon, silicon carbide, and/or nickel to improve the consolidation of the hafnium diboride powder (sintering). It is commonly formed into a solid by a process called hot pressing, where the powders are pressed together using both heat and pressure.
The material has potential for use in hypervelocity reentry vehicles such as ICBMheat shields or aerodynamic leading-edges, due to its strength and thermal properties. Unlike polymer and composite material, HfB2 can be formed into aerodynamic shapes that will not ablate during reentry.
Hafnium diboride is also investigated as a possible new material for nuclear reactorcontrol rods. It is also being investigated as a microchip diffusion barrier. If synthesized correctly, the barrier can be less than 7 nm thick.