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Silicon Carbide (SiC)

Silicon carbide is a non-oxide engineering ceramic. It can have a moderately high thermal conductivity among the non-oxide engineering ceramics in the database.

The properties of silicon carbide include five common variations. This page shows summary ranges across all of them. For more specific values, follow the links immediately below. The graph bars on the material properties cards further below compare silicon carbide to other non-oxide engineering ceramics (top) and the entire database (bottom). A full bar means this is the highest value in the relevant set. A half-full bar means it's 50% of the highest, and so on.

Mechanical Properties

Compressive (Crushing) Strength

2780 to 3900 MPa 400 to 570 x 103 psi

Elastic (Young's, Tensile) Modulus

370 to 490 GPa 54 to 71 x 106 psi

Flexural Strength

410 to 600 MPa 60 to 87 x 103 psi

Fracture Toughness

3.4 to 4.6 MPa-m1/2 3.1 to 4.2 x 103 psi-in1/2

Knoop Hardness

2500 to 2900

Poisson's Ratio

0.14 to 0.21

Tensile Strength: Ultimate (UTS)

210 to 370 MPa 30 to 53 x 103 psi

Thermal Properties

Maximum Temperature: Mechanical

500 to 1590 °C 930 to 2900 °F

Maximum Thermal Shock

210 to 660 °C 400 to 1220 °F

Specific Heat Capacity

670 to 1180 J/kg-K 0.16 to 0.28 BTU/lb-°F

Thermal Conductivity

120 to 170 W/m-K 71 to 97 BTU/h-ft-°F

Thermal Expansion

4.0 to 4.5 µm/m-K

Other Material Properties


3.0 to 3.2 g/cm3 190 to 200 lb/ft3

Electrical Resistivity Order of Magnitude

0.94 to 3.3 10x Ω-m

Common Calculations

Stiffness to Weight: Axial

69 to 84 points

Stiffness to Weight: Bending

79 to 82 points

Strength to Weight: Axial

18 to 34 points

Strength to Weight: Bending

24 to 38 points

Thermal Diffusivity

38 to 79 m2/s

Thermal Shock Resistance

6.9 to 18 points

Followup Questions

Further Reading

Properties of Silicon Carbide, Gary L. Harris (editor), 1995

Silicon Carbine Ceramics: Fundamental and Solid Reaction, Shigeyuki Somiya and Yoshizo Inomata (editors), 1991

Handbook of Refractory Carbides and Nitrides: Properties, Characteristics, Processing and Applications, Hugh O. Pierson, 1996

Ceramics and Composites: Processing Methods, Narottam P. Bansal and Aldo R. Boccaccini (editors), 2012

Springer Handbook of Condensed Matter and Materials Data, W. Martienssen and H. Warlimont (editors), 2005

Sintering of Advanced Materials: Fundamentals and Processes, Zhigang Zak Fang (editor), 2010