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what is si3n4?
Silicon nitride (Si3N4) is a non-oxide structural ceramic material with excellent shock and thermal resistance. This unique combination of properties makes it an ideal material for applications in extreme environments and demanding mechanical / structural requirements.
The high hardness, lubricity, oxidation resistance and wear resistance of Si3N4 allow it to be used for many industrial applications where heat and pressure are the main stressors. Examples of this are bearings and gas turbine blades where it is able to withstand the rigours of extreme mechanical, thermal and wear situations.
In addition to these impressive performance characteristics, the low density of Si3N4 helps reduce the centrifugal stresses that can occur when rotating bodies are subjected to high speeds. This property is one of the primary reasons why fully dense Si3N4 is used for a wide range of rotating components that require high-speed wear and rolling contact fatigue (RCF) resistance, such as bearings and bearing housings.
This is also beneficial for seal face components in pumps where the surfaces frequently come into direct contact with corrosive slurries and chemicals. As a result, the chemical integrity of this material is often essential for seal face components that are exposed to such arduous working conditions.
Silicon nitride is synthesised typically through the chemical reaction of metallic silicon and nitrogen. The resultant part is carefully pressed and sintered by well-developed methods that give rise to particular properties, which define its end applications.