Silicon Nitride (Si3N4) has the most versatile combination of mechanical, thermal and electrical properties of any technical ceramic material. It is a high-performance technical ceramic, very hard, with excellent thermal shock and impact resistance. It exceeds the high temperature capabilities of most metals and has excellent creep and oxidation resistance. Additionally, its low thermal conductivity and high wear resistance make it an excellent material to withstand the harshest conditions in the harshest industrial applications. Silicon nitride is an excellent choice when high temperature and high load capacity are required.
Silicon Nitride is one of the hardest technologies available for ceramics and has been used successfully for many years in a wide and interesting range of applications such as automotive engines, components and the most exclusive skateboards for roller bearings. Its low coefficient of thermal expansion provides good thermal shock resistance compared to other technical ceramics. Too hard, surpasses the high temperature capabilities of most metals and also has superior oxidation resistance. As a result, silicon nitride can withstand the harshest conditions in the most demanding high temperature, high load applications. Even NASA scientists recognize its unique properties when using silicon nitride bearings in the space shuttle’s main engine. It is one of the few monolithic ceramic materials that has been identified as able to withstand the harsh high temperatures of shock and thermal gradients created in a hydrogen/oxygen rocket engine and has fully proven reliable throughout the space shuttle program. More recently, silicon nitride “tip” or “apex” seals designed and manufactured from precision ceramics have provided additional hardness and toughness over traditional steel seals for rotary engine applications, extending engine life and greatly reducing maintenance costs and downtime.The key attribute of Silicon Nitride following:
- Resistant to most chemicals – dilution only
- Diluted HF and hot H2SO4 will affect it.
- Excellent electrical insulation properties
- High fracture toughness
- High strength over a wide temperature range
- Light weight and low density
- Low thermal expansion
- Excellent thermal shock resistance
- Wear resistant
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