Applications of Syalons

As modern industry continues to demand stronger, harder, more wear resistant and heat resistant materials, which will operate cost effectively in hostile environments, it has become essential to seek alternative engineering materials.

The discovery of silicon nitride in 1857 by Deville and Whaler caused no excitement among the engineering fraternity of the day. Yet the announcement more than a century later, in 1972, that an alloy of this same material had been found stimulated enormous interest and triggered off investigations on a worldwide scale. The reasons why the two events were heralded in such dissimilar ways gives us an insight into the developments that have taken place in our major industries.

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New Directors Appointed

The Directors of International Syalons (Newcastle) Limited have great pleasure in announcing that Mr. Ian Denton and Mr. Nick Fecitt have been appointed Directors of the Company with immediate effect.

Ian, who joins the Board as Operations Director, started his career in research. He was appointed as Quality Manager when the Company was formed and was responsible for the Company becoming one of the first in the UK to achieve ISO 9001 status. He was appointed Operations Manager in 2005 and has been instrumental in driving the Company forward and establishing its present position of leadership in sialon ceramic engineering, through continually improving standards and customer service. Ian will continue to be responsible for all aspects of sales and production.

Nick, who joins the Board as Technical Director, is another founder member of the Company's staff and, leading his research and development team, has been highly successful in developing the Company's wide range of Syalon ceramics through material technology and process design. He is internationally recognised as one of the world's leading experts on sialon ceramics and maintains relationships with a number of prestigious research establishments, so as to maintain the Company's position in the forefront of advanced ceramic engineering.

Managing Director, Tony Mitchell, says "We are extremely fortunate to have Ian and Nick on the Board to continue the Company's growth through innovation and customer service. Most of our customers are already aware of and benefit from the problem-solving skills that are available through Ian, Nick and their respective teams. This is our way forward."

Visit Us at ALUMINIUM 2008

International Syalons (Newcastle) Limited will be exhibiting at ALUMINIUM 2008 in Essen, Germany. This is the world's premier meeting for the aluminium industry and we will be showing our range of Syalon foundry products.

The exhibition runs from September 23-25, 2008 at the Messe Essen and we will be located in Hall 1, Booth 1E55. Please visit us there and see some of our foundry products made from advanced Syalon ceramics, including 2 metre long thermocouple protection sheaths.

Syalon 101 uniquely combines outstanding corrosion resistance to aluminium and its alloys, thermal shock resistance and high strength. In addition, Syalon is non-wetted by aluminium making it resistant to build up of dross. These features give Syalon 101 foundry products a significantly better service life over competitive products such as chill cast iron, silicon carbide and aluminium titanate.

For more information on our foundry products and how they may help you, please take the opportunity to speak with us at ALUMINIUM 2008 or contact us conventionally.

 

 

New Sintering Furnace

International Syalons (Newcastle) Limited have recently installed and commissioned a new, large, state of the art sintering furnace, which significantly extends our sintering capacity.

The furnace, built by Vacuum Furnace Engineering Ltd (VFE) of HalesowenWest MidlandsUK, allows us to manufacture sialon parts up to 2m in length, significantly longer than our previous maximum length of 1.5m. Thermocouple protection sheaths for molten metal handling, are now available in this new length at a diameter of 28mm.

In addition, the extra capacity, 6 times our previous capacity, will allow us to manufacture parts up to 600mm in diameter, far larger than the previous maximum diameter of 200mm.

For more information on our on the products we manufacture, please contact us.

Silicon Nitride Ceramics

Silicon nitrides (Si3N4) are a range of advanced engineering ceramics characterised by high strength, toughness and hardness and excellent chemical and thermal stability.

Silicon nitride was discovered in the mid-nineteenth century but did not lend itself to ease of fabrication, due to its covalently bonded nature. This initially led to the development of two types of silicon nitride, reaction–bonded silicon nitride (RBSN) and hot pressed silicon nitride (HPSN). Subsequently, since the 1970s two further types have been developed: sintered silicon nitride (SSN), which include the sialons, and sintered reaction–bonded silicon nitride (SRBSN).

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R & D Engineer/Science Graduate Position

International Syalons (Newcastle) Limited are the UK's leading manufacturer of advanced nitride ceramics. We are a small but fast–growing, well–established manufacturing company supplying advanced ceramics to industries such as oil and gas, automotive and molten metal handling.

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Designing with Ceramics

This guide is aimed at engineers and designers wishing to incorporate advanced technical ceramics, such as silicon nitride and sialonsaluminazirconiaor silicon carbide into their design.

Often an engineer unfamiliar with using ceramics will want a direct copy of a component that was originally metal, for example, made in ceramic. Very often this is not the best solution and can unnecessarily increase manufacturing costs and even result in the component not working as desired.

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Development of Syalons

Silicon nitride (Si3N4) was discovered in the mid-nineteenth century and caused no excitement among the engineering fraternity of the day. The problem was that Si3N4 does not lend itself to ease of fabrication.

Over the next century two principle routes for fabricating Si3N4 ceramics were developed: hot pressing and reaction bonding.

Hot pressed Si3N4 (HPSN), was made by adding a flux (usually magnesia, MgO) to a fine Si3N4 powder and then pressing the powder in a graphite die at high pressure and temperature. The resultant HPSN body, although fully dense and extremely strong, could only be made in to simple shapes which would then require expensive diamond grinding to obtain the desired profile.

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What are Sialon Ceramics?

SiAlONs are ceramic alloys based on the elements silicon (Si), aluminium (Al), oxygen (O) and nitrogen (N) and were developed in the 1970s to solve the problem of silicon nitride (Si3N4) being difficult to fabricate.

As alloys of Si3N4, SiAlONs exist in three basic forms. Each form is isostructural with one of the two common forms of Si3N4, beta (β) and alpha (α) and with silicon oxynitride. The relationship between that of SiAlON and Si3N4 is similar to that between brass and pure copper. In the latter case, copper atoms are replaced by zinc to give a better and stronger alloy than the mother metal. In the case of SiAlON, there is substitution for Si by Al with corresponding atomic replacement of N by O, to satisfy valancy requirements. The resulting 'solution' (SiAlON) has superior properties to the original pure solvent (silicon nitride).

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