What are Silicon Nitride Properties?

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It is a key engineering ceramic. High temperatures give silicon nitride excellent mechanical properties. These include low density, high bending strengths, elastic modulus and fracture toughness. They also resist solid particle erosion. This material has exceptional thermal properties. It can resist thermal shock (rapidly changing temperatures). The chemical properties of silicon nitride are excellent, with good stability against most acids and bases as well as corrosive gases and liquid metals.
The results of rolling contact fatigue (RCF), tests conducted on several ceramic-based materials that were subjected high-performance bearing loads, show that only fully dense silicon nitride is capable of outperforming bearing steel. RCF has a ten-fold longer service life than high performance bearing steel. This is evident with the all-compact Si3N4 bearing. A high-speed rotating body may cause significant centrifugal stresses. Because it is a low-density metal, silicon nitride can be as light and thin as aluminum. This material has an additional benefit. Low Si3N4 density reduces centrifugal stresses on the outer ring in the high-speed rotating system. Silicon nitride ceramics have a high tensile force that resists elongation. It also has excellent flexural strength, so they can withstand swelling and rupture when subjected to elevated lateral stresses. High fracture toughness and modulus are also characteristics of full density Si3N4, which make the material extremely resistant to wear phenomena. The material can endure harsh conditions which may cause other ceramics to break, crack or deform.

It is capable of displaying superior mechanical and thermal properties making it suitable to demanding industrial applications. A material’s thermal conductivity refers to its inherent ability to conduct or transfer heat. It is an important factor that determines whether engineered materials can withstand extreme temperatures for industrial applications. Silicon nitride, due to its unique chemical and microstructure compositions, has the same low thermal conductivity of metals.

These properties allow silicon nitride reduce its thermal conductivity significantly in high temperature environments. The thermal expansion problem occurs when material are heated, and the size or volume of those materials increases in small increments. It depends on how heated the material is. A material’s ratio of thermal expansion coefficients will indicate how large it expands for every 1degC rise. Because of the strength of Si3N4, which is an atomic bond, this material exhibits a low thermal expansion coefficient. It also has very low temperature deformation.

The superior thermal qualities of silicon nitride make it less susceptible to high-speed radiation than other ceramics. Due to its low dielectric constant, which is how a substance stores electrical energy in an electromagnetic field, and high strength as well as heat resistance silicon nitride makes it a preferred material for various RF applications.

This unique combination of properties has led further research to its use in structural ceramics in medical applications. In vitro experiments and further studies with animals involving silicon nitride injections have shown that silicon nitride is biocompatible. This was confirmed in the 1980s. An in vitro study from 1999 further confirmed the biocompatibility claim for Si3N4 to promote the growth of functional human bones cells. These results further support silicon nitride’s position as a promising biomedical product. Additionally to being biocompatible, silicon nitride has been shown to possess surface chemical characteristics that encourage bone formation (osteogenesis), as well as increase contact between implants and bone.

The strong and stable atomic bonds make silicon nitride highly resistant to acidic and alkaline corrosion at room temperatures. This property is crucial when implantation of silicon nitride in watery and salty environments for long term. This is due to the formation on the surface of the materials of an oxide layer. When silicon nitride was placed in hot gases, molten metals, or other environments, the same resistance resulted. In the resistance to corrosion of materials, the formation of oxide layers plays an important and complicated role.

Its unique microstructure that self-reinforces, its high strength and toughness, as well as many other outstanding properties makes silicon nitride a desirable structural component. This is also a good choice for applications in biomedical and industrial industries.

Lempotee advanced materials Nano Technology Co. Ltd. (Lempotee), is a trusted global supplier and manufacturer who has over 12-years of experience in manufacturing super-high-quality chemical products, including graphite powders, silicon powders, zinc sulfuride, calcium nutride, 3D printing powders, and more.
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