Silicon Nitride Material Properties

Silicon Nitride (Si3N4) is one of the toughest ceramic materials. Characteristic properties include high wear resistance, high strength and ductility, and is chemical and thermoschock resistant. At only 40% the weight of steel, its high temperature hardness is twice as hard as steel and retains strength and hardness up to 1800°F. Additionally, it has excellent dielectric properties, high resistivity, a low thermal expansion coefficient and is relatively chemically inert. Silicon Nitride is a good selection for applications that require high heat resistance, low friction, high loads and speed.

Applications for precision balls include: high precision bearings, pumps, compressors, flow meters, metrology instrumentation

Silicon Nitride

chemical composition Si3N4
density 3.23 g/cm2
apparent porosity >0.5%
thermal expansion coefficient 3.4 x 10-6/K
thermal conductivity 16-19 W/m·K
thermal shock resistance ΔT 650°C
specific heat 100°C 880 J/kg.K
maximum use temperature 1400°C
modulus of rupture 980 MPa (psi x 103)
Young’s modulus 300 GPa (psi x 106)
Poisson’s ratio 0.29
hardness 1600 Vickers
fracture toughness 6.0 MPa·m1/2
electrical resistivity 1010 Ω
dielectric rigidity 15 Kv/mm
*values are for guidance only

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