Borazon was first produced in 1957 by Robert H. Wentorf, Jr., a physical chemist working for the General Electric Company. In 1969, General Electric adopted the name Borazon as its trademark for the crystal.
Borazon replaced aluminium oxide for grinding hardened steels due to its far superior abrasive properties, comparable to that of diamond. Borazon is used in industrial applications to shape tools, as it can withstand temperatures greater than 2000 °C (3500 °F), much higher than that of a pure diamond at 871 °C (1600 °F). Other uses include jewellery designing, glass cutting and laceration of diamonds.
CBN-coated grinding wheels, referred to as Borozon wheels, are routinely used in the machining of hard ferrous metals, cast irons, and nickel-base and cobalt-base superalloys. They can grind more material, to a higher degree of accuracy, than any other abrasive. The limiting factor in the life of such tools is typically determined not by wear on the cutting surface but by its break-down and separation from the metal core resulting from failure of the bonding layer.