Superior Technical Ceramics (STC) introduced a new direct-pressure sintered silicon nitride (Si3N4) powder-to-part component manufacturing process featuring a sinter-HIP furnace. The new furnace can accommodate a range of inert gas atmospheres, including ultrahigh-purity, cryogenically sourced nitrogen, which is a key component of the Si3N4 direct-pressure sintering process. The furnace has an 11-inch-diameter x 22-inch-high graphite hot zone that is fully controlled to temperatures up to 3812°F (2100°C).
The processed material provides a high-performance, cost-effective material solution for manufacturers in the aerospace, oil-and-gas and instrumentation industries due to its high mechanical and dielectric strength combined with superior thermal shock resistance. The commissioning of the sinter- HIP furnace allows Vermont-based STC to offer advanced silicon nitride production processes that provide reduced costs and improved performance across a variety of component configurations.
The direct-pressure sintered silicon nitride process lends itself well to higher-volume, complex parts used in applications in which strength, wear resistance, fracture toughness and dimensional stability are all required at high temperatures.