Design Silicon Nitride Ceramics for Energy Technology Applications

Reference Presenter Authors
14-029 FEI ZUO Lin, H.(Guangdong University of Technology); ZUO, F.(Guangdong University of Technology); Silicon nitride (Si3N4) ceramics exhibit a very unique microstructure that contains whisker-like elongated grains and fine matrix grains. These Si3N4 ceramics in general exhibit very good mechanical properties with excellent resistance to wear, corrosion, and oxidation. Thus, many ceramic turbine engines related programs funded by governments were initiated globally in 1990s’ to design and implement them as hot section structural components such as vane, blade, and turbo rotor for gas turbine and microturbine engines. These integrated global research efforts conducted by academia, research institution, and industrial sectors during the last four decades allow the ceramic community to gain a much better understanding on how to control the microstructure and also the interfacial films as they are closely related to mechanisms for enhanced toughness in these self-reinforced Si3N4 ceramics. It is also known that the oxide additives would influence the alpha-beta Si3N4 phase transformation, microstructural evolution, microstructural and chemical bonding of interfacial thin film during the processing and sintering procedures. Therefore, in this presentation, the perspective of advanced silicon nitride ceramics for hot section components in next generation microturbine engine would be reviewed and discussed. In addition, it will also focus on microstructure tailoring and processing of Si3N4 ceramics to achieve a hybrid microstructure with hard surface and tough core characteristic for wear component like ball bearing. The lessons and challenges to achieve the aimed properties and performances learned through the course of the studies would be presented and discussed in the paper. 

*Research supported by Guangdong Innovative and Entrepreneurial Research Team Program (NO. 2013G061)
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