- Aluminum was detected in reaction-bonded boron carbide that had been prepared by pressureless infiltration of boron carbide preforms with molten silicon in a graphite furnace under vacuum. The presence of Al2O3 in the heated zone, even though not in contact with the boron carbide preform, stands behind the presence of aluminium in the rim region that interconnects the initial boron carbide particles. The composition of the rim corresponds to the Bx(C,Si,Al)y quaternary carbide phase. The reaction of alumina with graphite and the formation of a gaseous aluminum suboxide (Al2O) accounts for the transfer of aluminum in the melt and, subsequently in the rim regions. The presence of Al increases the solubility of boron in liquid silicon, but with increasing aluminum content the activity of boron decreases. These features dominate the structural evolution of the rim-core in the presence of aluminum in the melt.