Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Most silicon carbide is man-made for use as an abrasive (when it is often known by the trade name carborundum), or more recently as a semiconductor and moissanite gemstones. The simplest manufacturing process is to combine sand and carbon at a high temperature, between 1600°C and 2500°C. Purer product can be made by the more expensive process of chemical vapor deposition. Its high melting point (above 1600°C) makes it useful for bearings and furnace parts. It is also highly inert. There is currently much interest in its use in electronics, where its high thermal conductivity, high electric field breakdown strength and high maximum current density make it more promising than silicon for high-powered devices. In addition, it has strong coupling to microwave radiation and that, together with its high melting point permits practical use in heating and casting metals.
Use as semiconductor
Silicon carbide in culture
Silicon carbide as a structural material
In the 1980s and 1990s, silicon carbide was studied on several research programs for high temperature gas turbines in the United States, Japan, and Europe. The components were intended to replace nickel superalloy turbine blades or nozzle vanes. However, none of these projects resulted in a production quantity, mainly because of its low impact resistance and its low fracture toughness.
- Computer chips get tough (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- NASA Glenn High Temperature Integrated Electronics and Sensors Team
- University of Arkansas Silicon Carbide Device Modeling Team
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