Supply of silicon carbide for industrial applications
Silicon carbide, known by the formula SiC, is obtained by mixing pure silica sand with carbon in the form of a finely ground coke. This mixture is built up around a carbon conductor in an electric furnace in which the silica from the sand and the carbon from the coke combine to form SiC.
Silicon carbide is an essential material in modern industry, as silicon carbide is used mainly in three sectors of activity such as metallurgy, refractories and abrasives.
Properties of silicon carbide
- Hardness: Silicon carbide has a Mohs hardness of 9, making it the hardest material after boron carbide (Mohs 9.5) and diamond (Mohs 10).
- High temperature resistance: Silicon carbide is resistant to high temperatures and thermal shock, which is why silicon carbide is widely used in the manufacture of refractory bricks and other refractories. Silicon carbide starts to disintegrate at 2000°C.
- Conductivity: Purified SiC will act as an electrical insulator. However, by controlling impurities, silicon carbide can have the properties of a semiconductor. Industrial SiC has a purity of about 98 to 99.5%. Impurities may include aluminum, iron, oxygen and free carbon.
- Chemical stability: Being a stable and chemically inert substance, silicon carbide shows an increased resistance to corrosion, including contact with acids. An oxidation reaction in air can be observed at temperatures of about 850°C to form SiO2.
The different types of applications of silicon carbide
Due to its many properties and depending on its purity, silicon carbide (SiC) is used in many applications such as :
- Steelmaking: Silicon carbide is used for the recarburization and desoxidation of steel and cast iron. When silicon carbide is added to liquid steel it will break down, the carbon will act as a recarburizer while the silicon will facilitate the desoxidation of the steel. In addition, this decomposition leads to an exothermic reaction which increases the temperature of the bath. Using metallurgical silicon carbide for steelmaking reduces energy consumption.
- Refractory manufacture: Silicon carbide contains all the properties required for the manufacture of quality refractories: high temperature resistance without loss of properties, high thermal conductivity, chemical resistance, high melting point, resistance to thermal shock, bending, abrasion and erosion. Silicon carbide is therefore widely used to produce refractory bricks and all other refractories.
- Abrasives: Silicon carbide is widely used in the production of industrial abrasives to wear, crush, or cut other materials of lower hardness.
If you are looking for a supplier of silicon carbide or metallurgical silicon carbide, then we can assist you. We are one of the leading suppliers of SiC and have the experience and expertise to meet your needs. Contact us today to find out more about our products and services.