Thermal conductivity

Technical Ceramics: The High Temperature Strength of Sialons

Silicon nitride (Si3N4) ceramics have outstanding thermal shock resistance and high temperature strength values, exceeding many technical ceramics in terms of their resistance to thermodynamic stress. The main challenge associated with manufacturing silicon nitride for industrial applications is of cost-effectively achieving full densification of green-bodies. Hot pressing methods yield fully-dense, high performance technical ceramics but at excessive costs.Continue reading

The Electrical Properties of Si3N4

Silicon nitride (Si3N4) is one of the most advanced engineering ceramics on the market, providing an outstanding blend of mechanical and thermal properties. Each individual member of the Si3N4 ceramic family is comprised of silicon (Si) and nitrogen (N) in a densely-packed atomic arrangement of high-strength intra-structural covalent bonds. This provides the basis for the material’s high thermal and mechanical performance, as well as interesting electrical properties which can be tailored to specific applications.Continue reading

101 AM Small Impellers

3D Printing of Ceramics: Latest Developments

Technical ceramics are ubiquitous in industrial manufacturing with a storied history of innovation and versatility. Manufacturers of some of the most hard-wearing and high-strength engineered ceramics worldwide are committed to pushing the letter with regards to what these novel materials are capable of. This has included minutely altering the chemical composition of raw materials to reduce the manufacturing costs of high-performance ceramics such as silicon nitride, with negligible impacts to the material’s physical properties. More recent innovations have included fabricating electrically-conductive silicon nitride for electro-discharge machining (EDM). Yet the industry at large is primarily focussed on realising the potential of ceramic 3D printing.Continue reading

Syalon 101 - beta Micrograph

Comparing Syalon 101 to Alternative Ceramic Materials

Syalon 101 is a Si-Al-O-N ceramic material with the similar crystallographic structure as beta-phase silicon nitride (β-Si3N4) which is also engineered for its extraordinary strength, toughness, and hardness characteristics. First envisaged as a cost-effective alternative to conventional silicon nitride, Syalon 101 can now compete with a broad range of established engineering ceramic materials.Continue reading

Thermal conductivity

Thermal Properties of Silicon Nitride: Thermal Conductivity

Silicon nitride ceramics are a unique family of materials engineered for optimal efficiency in extremely demanding thermodynamic conditions. Several derivatives of the original beta-phase silicon nitride Syalon 101 have been designed for enhanced corrosion resistance or improved formability, but these outstanding mechanical and thermal properties still underline the performance of the overarching product line.Continue reading

Syalons Chemical Processing

Using Si3N4 in the Chemical and Process Industry

The chemical and process industry is concerned with converting raw materials into semi-finished or finished products via thermochemical reactions. This covers an extensive range of industrial and commercial processes, including petroleum metering and petrochemical production of organic and inorganic polymers. Chemical and process industries are typified by chemical reactions of highly corrosive or erosive media at ambient or elevated temperatures.Continue reading

Molten Metal Forming

What is Slip Casting?

Mankind has been using moulds to manufacture ceramics for centuries. The precise origin of slip casting is still debated, with variations of the method observed in prehistoric Peruvian cultures and the ancient empires of the Mediterranean Sea. The French rather romantically coined the phrase coulage to describe the process of slip casting, which roughly translates as casting through shrinkage. This term is also associated with mass production, which is why the discovery of the technique is often dated centuries after indigenous peoples in Peru first used slip casting to construct simple panpipes.Continue reading


An Introduction to Zirconia

Zirconia, or zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), is an advanced ceramic material capable of outstanding mechanical and thermal properties which have been refined for specific applications including high-temperature, abrasive, and biomedical industries. The characteristics of zirconia’s properties are dependent upon which of the three distinct crystallographic phases the material exists as.

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Modulus of Rupture

The Modulus of Rupture of Silicon Nitride Ceramics

Sialon ceramics based on high-strength silicon nitride were engineered as a cost-effective solution to some of the most demanding thermal processing and mechanical industrial environments. A tetrahedral arrangement of silicon—nitrogen bonds substituted with the addition of aluminium and oxygen provides exceptional resistance to varied thermodynamic stresses, with enhanced resistance to corrosive attack. These properties are supplemented with high material strengths and physical integrity under applied forces.

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Sialons History

This History of SiAlON Ceramics

Silicon nitride (Si3N4) is a high-performance refractory ceramic that can exist in three different crystallographic phases (α, β and γ), each displaying distinct thermodynamic properties. Each of these material phases is suitable for severe working conditions, and silicon nitride been used to manufacture high-temperature components in some of the most demanding industrial sectors worldwide. However, conventional sintering methods struggle to produce fully dense and complex silicon nitride components, and alternative techniques represent significant additional costs. SiAlON ceramics were engineered as a direct solution to these issues.

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