materials

Silicon Carbide

Known for its exceptional hardness and strength, Silicon Carbide is an advanced technical ceramic with many excellent mechanical and insulatory properties.

9.0

Relative Cost of Material

9.5

Machining Degree of Difficulty

Summary

Silicon Carbide has been a staple in manufacturing for over a century, but has been increasingly in demand as a medium for tight-tolerance machined components. Silicon Carbide has excellent strength and hardness, but also relatively low density, meaning is has among the greatest strength-to-mass ratios of any technical ceramic available. Much like Silicon Nitride, and Boron Carbide, some forms of Silicon Carbide (Electrical Low Resistivity or ELR SiC) are electrically conductive, and can be EDMed for precision components to produce geometries that cannot be achieved through traditional or ultrasonic machining. As an extremely hard material, expertise in this ceramic is required to yield good parts, as conventional strategies will result in excessive tool wear and not meet spec. Click here for our contact information or to request a quote, and we will show you why more engineers are trusting us with their mission-critical needs.

Applications

Silicon Carbide is found in many industries, from cutting tools and polishing wheels in manufacturing, to turbine components, to heat exchangers, and even armor plating for military applications. Due to its relatively high cost and degree of difficulty for machining, most Silicon Carbide applications call for relatively low-tolerance or geometrically simple components, but precision components are very achievable with proper machining strategy. 

Properties

Material PropertySilicon Carbide
Density (g/cm^3)3.1
Hardness (Mohs)9-9.5
Tensile Strength (MPa)1500
Modulus of Elasticity (GPa)410
Flexural Strength (MPa)540
Compressive Strength (MPa)1400
Poisson's Ratio0.14
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (1 x 10^-6/°C)4.0
Thermal Conductivity (W/m K)120
Specific Heat (J/kg*K)750
*Note: Properties vary by manufacturer. The above information should be used for general reference purposes only.

related Materials

  • Sapphire – 100% purity Aluminum Oxide with crystalline structure
  • Macor – Easily machinable ceramic with good insulatory properties
  • Silicon Nitride – Extremely hard ceramic with excellent mechanical and thermal properties