The Story of Ceramics in the UK

Ceramics are still widely associated with the elegant yet brittle shapes of traditional manufacturing, despite the astronomic strides that materials scientists and engineers have made over the last two and a half centuries. This is primarily due to the schism between commercial and technical ceramic materials. Retail ceramics retain a flair for aesthetics over functionality, which has roots in Romantic-era pottery and ancient porcelain. These products retain that traditional sense of style and continue to dominate the general public’s perception of what ceramics are capable of.Continue reading

Advanced Engineering: Syalon 050 vs Tungsten Carbide Blast Nozzles

A car engine block can weigh anything from 90 kilograms (kg) to over half a tonne without its associated parts, such as the power train or other directly connected components. The weight of the vehicle is one of the defining factors in its overall performance and efficiency, and reducing the weight profiles of integral components has been an ongoing challenge for advanced engineering of modern vehicles.Continue reading

Syalons Pressure Sintering

Insight into the Hardness of Silicon Nitride

At International Syalons, we have explored the mechanical properties of silicon nitride (Si3N4) at great length. Silicon nitride is an advanced engineering ceramic that circumvents many of the conventional drawbacks of numerous oxide ceramics. Outstanding fracture toughness and high moduli of both rupture and elasticity impart excellent resistance to multiple wearing phenomena. This enables silicon nitride-based ceramics to withstand severe operating conditions that may cause comparatively brittle ceramics to propagate flaws, deform, or fail.Continue reading

Fracture toughness - Ceramic Materials

The Fracture Toughness of Ceramic Materials

High strength ceramic materials are pervasively utilized in demanding industrial applications, owing to their unique thermomechanical characteristics. Typically, advanced ceramics exhibit tightly-bound granular structures with extremely dense microstructural arrangements. This imparts varying levels of material strength and resistance to chemical attack, depending on the distinct chemical makeup of the ceramic.

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High strength ceramic materials are pervasively utilized in demanding industrial applications, owing to their unique thermomechanical characteristics. Typically, advanced ceramics exhibit tightly-bound granular structures with extremely dense microstructural arrangements. This imparts varying levels of material strength and resistance to chemical attack, depending on the distinct chemical makeup of the ceramic.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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