A monolithic silicon nitride ceramic is densified at temperatures lower than 2000 degrees Celsius, and heat-treated at temperatures greater than 2000 degrees Celsius. This monolithic silicon nitride has a highly acicular microstructure and average apparent aspect ratio greater than 1.8. It also offers excellent damage tolerance and high thermal conductivity.
A silicon nitride sintered body has a composition consisting essentially of from 75 to 96 weight percent of silicon nitride; yttrium oxide present in an amount ranging from about 2 to 10 weight percent; at least one oxide of the lanthanide (Ln) element; and 0.2 to 5 weight percent of silicon carbide. It features high strength and toughness for gas turbine and automotive engine components.
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