Physical properties and cutting performance of silicon nitride ceramic

Mikio Fukuhara, Kenji Fukazawa, Akira Fukawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


Silicon nitride, a nitrogen compound of highly covalent bond character, has low density, high hardness, low thermal expansion and high thermal conductivity and excellent oxidation and corrosion resistance. Therefore it is considered to be a promising material for high temperature engineering components. However, it has very poor sinterability compared with the conventional oxide ceramics owing to its low self-diffusivity. By investigating starting materials, sintering additives and processing, a hot-pressed silicon nitride ceramic having grains enveloped by crystalline boundary phases can be produced. The silicon-nitride-based ceramic has high strength, high Weibull modulus, fracture toughness and thermal conductivity, and low thermal expansion compared with existing cutting tool ceramics such as Al2O3 + TiC, and it is expected to have superior thermal shock resistance. This new ceramic cutting tool shows superior performance in cutting cast irons at high speeds (10-16.75 m s-1 (600-1000 m min-1)) and rates (about 1.0 mm rev-1), where conventional tools cannot be used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-210
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1985 Apr 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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