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AISI 316 Stainless Steel vs. Silicon Nitride

AISI 316 stainless steel and silicon nitride belong to fundamentally different material chemistries. AISI 316 stainless steel is a metal, while silicon nitride is a ceramic material. Therefore, their performance will be even more dissimilar than would be suggested by the difference in properties. There are 10 material properties with values for both materials. Properties with values for just one material (33, in this case) are not shown. Please note that the two materials have significantly dissimilar densities. This means that additional care is required when interpreting the data, because some material properties are based on units of mass, while others are based on units of area or volume.

For each property being compared, the top bar is AISI 316 stainless steel and the bottom bar is silicon nitride.

Metric UnitsUS Customary Units

Material Properties

Density, g/cm3 7.9
2.2 to 3.4
Elastic (Young's, Tensile) Modulus, GPa 200
140 to 310
Maximum Temperature: Mechanical, °C 590
1000 to 1330
Poisson's Ratio 0.28
0.24 to 0.27
Specific Heat Capacity, J/kg-K 470
720 to 800
Stiffness to Weight: Axial, points 14
34 to 53
Stiffness to Weight: Bending, points 25
65 to 78
Thermal Conductivity, W/m-K 15
12 to 31
Thermal Diffusivity, mm2/s 4.1
7.5 to 13
Thermal Expansion, µm/m-K 16
2.5 to 3.2