Silicon carbide is an extremely hard bluish-black insoluble crystalline substanceproduced by heating carbon with sand at a high temperature andused as an abrasive and refractory material.
There are many applications of silicon carbide, such as slide bearings, sealing rings, wear parts, sintering aids, crucibles, semiconductor applications, heating elements, burner nozzles, heat exchangers.
Silicon carbide whiskershave a high tensile strength and are used in composites; very purecrystals are used as semiconductors.
Silicon carbide (SiC) products are ideal for applications where improvements in efficiency, reliability, and thermal management are desired. Silicon Carbide also has the resistivity necessary to perform as a semiconductor material. Because of these properties, Silicon Carbide is used in a wide range of applications and industries.
There are typical specific properties of silicon carbide:
• High Hardness
• Chemical Inertness
• High Thermal Conductivity
• Low Coefficient of Thermal Expansion
• Thermal Shock Resistance
• Strength at High Temperature Ranges
• Electrical Conductivity
• Abrasion / Wear Resistance
Silicon Carbide, sometimes mistakenly referred to by the trade name Carborundum, is used due to its properties of high hardness (Mohs hardness > 9), wear resistance, its chemical inertness, high thermal conductivity, abrasion resistance, low coefficient of thermal expansion, thermal shock resistance, and strength at high temperature ranges. Silicon Carbide is used as an abrasiveand as an electrical resistor in objects exposed to high temperatures.
Silicon Carbide is produced by heating silica sand and a carbon source, typically petroleum coke, to high temperatures in a large, open “Acheson” furnace. The result of this high temperature process is the crystalline formation of Silicon Carbide grains, of both Green and Black coloring. The color difference is due to the purity of the silicon carbide. Green SiC coloring is a result of less impurities than the Black SiC.