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A Silicon Carbide Lollipop
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Silicon Carbide is an inorganic material and non-oxide ceramics. Many of researches have
been performed and continue for Silicon Carbide ceramic material due to having a range of
properties for the advanced technological applications. Besides of chemical stability, thermal
stability and thermal shock resistance of Silicon Carbide, mechanical properties such as
hardness and wear resistance are excellent for many engineering purposes like filter and
catalyst supports for elevated temperatures, seal pumps for automotive water pumps, heat
exchangers, bearing and abrasion resistant components or composite materials in armor
protection. Silicon Carbide usage in medicine is also important due to biocompatibility feature
of Silicon Carbide. Therefore, Silicon Carbide has already been used in myocardial heart
probes, bone prosthetics and coronary heart stents.
Most of these applications, light weight, stiff and strong porous structure of Silicon Carbide
are needed. One way to obtain light weight material is producing porous regions in the lattice
which may lead to decrease in mechanical properties of products. A group of researchers in
the Center for Advanced Structural Ceramics of United Kingdom studied two different
processes based on water suspension and sintering techniques to obtain ultra-light SiC.
They built strong, light weight SiC porous structure like as lollipop seen in SEM image. They
said that Silicon Carbide with highly porous scaffolds can be used in thermal management,
filter and catalyst supports designed to work at elevated temperatures or as ceramic
reinforcement in the production of composites.
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