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What is silicon nitride (SiN)?

Silicon nitride has the chemical formula Si3N4. It is a ceramic material of high strength, lubricity and wear resistance. It is an unicrystalline atomic crystal that is resistant to oxidation.

It is also resistant to heat and cold. It won’t be damaged if you heat it to over 1000degC and cool it quickly, then heat it rapidly. The excellent characteristics of silicon-nitride ceramic are the reason why it is used in many mechanical components, such as bearings and turbine blades. It can also be used to produce mechanical seal rings, permanent moldings, etc. When silicon nitride is used for the heating surfaces on engine components, it can not only improve the quality of an engine, but also fuel efficiency, and reduce the amount of heat transfer. China, Japan, the United States and other countries are developing such engines.

Silicon Nitride: Comprehensive Properties

A perfect combination material properties is what makes silicon nitride a ceramic. It is nearly as light as silica carbide, but has a microstructure that gives Si3N4 an excellent thermal shock resistant and high fracture toughness.

This microstructure is made up of interlocked microrods. The combination of these properties has been particularly useful in the machining or gray cast-iron blades and cast-iron with ceramic blades.

Unlike other cutting materials or hard metals, silicon nitride knives can be used at maximum speed without cooling lubricants.

Ceramic components made of Si3N4 are replacing traditional materials due to their excellent chemical and physical characteristics. Ceramics made of silicon nitride are used for sealing rings, bearings and seal technology.

The use of silicon nitride in these components has a major impact on their function, reliability, and service life. The combined bearing of ceramic material with carbon or strengthened plastic is light but very hard. This makes it resistant to centrifugal pressure and provides excellent performance in emergency situations and for dry running.

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