SiC (Silicon Carbide) What is it? Where is it used today? Where is it going?

Posted: February 17, 2014 by mattmargolis24 in Sic (Silicon Carbide)
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Courtesy of wdam.com (see full details below) I was able to find a nice definition of Silicon Caribide as well as the current uses it has today and where the growth will occur in the future. Silicon carbide is produced synthetically by blending petroleum coke and sand under high temperature and pressure.  Industrials have used silicon carbide for blades, drill tips, and abrasive surfaces for polishing have been manufactured from silicon carbide as a cheaper alternative to diamond and diamond dust.  Due to the voltage-dependant resistance offered by SiC, the material has been used in lightening arresters and provides safe transfer of high voltages of electricity from lightening as it strikes the earth.  Steel and energy, electronics and semiconductors and automotives are the major end-user segments that have shown high demand for silicon carbide.  Medical & healthcare is expected to show the highest growth between 2013 and 2019 along with automotives.

Silicon carbide (SiC), also known as Carborundum is an exceptionally hard material that occurs in minor quantities in the Earth’s crust. It can also be manufactured synthetically by blending petroleum coke and sand (silica) under high temperature and pressure conditions. Diamond, boron carbide and boron nitrate are some of the substitute materials of silicon carbide that also possesses high hardness properties.

Owing to its hardness, silicon carbide has been extensively used as an abrasive material for various industrial applications. Blades, drill tips, and abrasive surfaces for polishing have been manufactured from silicon carbide as a cheaper alternative to diamond and diamond dust. Silicon carbide is also used as a structural material in composite armor, as ceramic plates in bullet-proof vests and in Dragon Skin, an armor device that uses silicon carbide disks as an integral part of its design. Due to the voltage-dependant resistance offered by SiC, the material has been used in lightening arresters and provides safe transfer of high voltages of electricity from lightening as it strikes the earth. Similar properties also helped advance their application in electrical circuits, and silicon wafers have been used on a large scale in electronics and semiconductors in the past few decades.

The SiC market was dominated by black SiC and green SiC and they accounted for over 90% of the total silicon carbide product segment in 2012. Black silicon carbide is majorly used in steel manufacturing to increase outputs of steel and recycled steel. Coated SiC, refractory SiC, metallurgical and metallurgical briquettes and SiC micro grit account for a smaller part of the market share and are used in some high-performance applications. Although black and green SiC dominate the SiC product segments, they are expected to show favorable growth in the forecast period.

Due to their exceptional physical properties and their versatility of application, they find diverse application bases in various end-user industries. Steel and energy, electronics and semiconductors and automotives are the major end-user segments that have shown high demand for silicon carbide. Together, these three end-user segments accounted for more than 70% of the market in 2012. Medical & healthcare is expected to show the highest growth between 2013 and 2019 along with automotives.

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