Silicon Carbide

One of the most popular high performance tribomaterials is silicon carbide (SiC), which has been marketed for more than 25 years. It has excellent corrosion resistance, excellent abrasion and wear resistance, low coefficients of friction and thermal expansion, high thermal conductivity, and hardness greater than tungsten carbide, among other qualities.

The following silicon carbide grades are available:

  • Reaction Bonded Silicon Carbide (RB SiC) is a very cost-effective material that has good chemical resistance and excellent wear properties.
  • Sintered Silicon Carbide (SSiC) is the most resistant to chemically hostile fluids and is best for high temperature applications because it contains no free silicon.
  • A mixture of silicon carbide and free graphite is known as graphite-loaded silicon carbide. To enhance the tribological performance and lubricity of RB SiC (RB SiC + C) or SSiC (SSiC + C), graphite is added to create a composite.
ParameterUnitRB SiCSSiC
Free Silicon Content%12%
Crystal Sizeμm 8-205-7
HardnessRockwellHRA 90>HRA 93
Compressive StrengthMpa27003000
psi391,500 435,000 
Flexural StrengthMpa400400
psi58,000 58,000 
Fracture ToughnessMpa.m1/24.34.5
Elastic ModulousGpa390410
Poisson’s Ratio/0.150.15
Thermal Expansion Coefficient1×10-6/K4.34.3
ParameterUnitRB SiC + CSSiC + C
Density g/cm32.70 2.85 
Free Silicon Content%
Crystal Sizeμm 
HardnessRockwellHRA 82HRA 85
Compressive StrengthMpa15002000
psi217,500 290,000 
Flexural StrengthMpa200300
psi29,000 435,000 
Fracture ToughnessMpa.m1/2
Elastic ModulousGpa250320
Poisson’s Ratio/
Thermal Expansion Coefficient1×10-6/K

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