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Properties to customer specification

Developing special, tailor-made silicon carbide powders together with our customers, makes up a significant portion of the ongoing effort in the global silicon carbide innovation teams. At the end of such a development process, we end up with a silicon carbide powder having unique properties that will improve the customer’s manufacturing process or their end products.

Having the optimal PSD for the application is of key importance in most applications, whether sub-micrometer sized particles or large, millimeter-sized crystals are used. By carefully selecting the optimal crushing or milling technology together with the appropriate dry or wet classification techniques, the PSD can be optimized for the customer’s specific application.

By applying various chemical treatment procedures, Fiven can purify the powder and certain elements, like silicon, carbon, iron and oxygen. For certain high-tech applications very low content of specific elements (including trace elements) are required, something tailor-made-products which can be addressed on a case-to-case basis. For other applications, there might a need to dope certain elements into the silicon carbide to get the optimal chemistry.

The shape of the grains (from very sharp to round) can be addressed using various crushing and milling technologies. For some end applications, the correct grain shape can be crucial to achieving optimal performance.

Thickness and composition of the silica-layer present on the surface of the SiC-crystals will influence the reactivity of the powder and can be carefully controlled by our manufacturing processes. The surface properties will also affect the pH of SiC-based slurries that customers produce for their casting processes. Being able to adjust the surface properties is, therefore, of great importance.

Having a certain electrical and/or thermal conductivity can be critical for some specific applications and having necessary knowhow to adjust such parameters is crucial.

The PSD and the particle shape will together profoundly influence the bulk density and the flow of most powders. In some cases, there is still room to optimize the flow or the density of the powders. The combination of these properties and the customers own processes determine the quality of the end-product. By working closely together, within the framework of confidential agreements, we can achieve the best end results, like sintered density very close to the theoretical value, combined with extreme strength and excellent wear resistance. Typical applications are seal rings and hot-pressed armor protection. Controlled porosity while maintaining high strength and superior resistance to thermal shock is, for example, important when used in high-temperature filtration applications. Superb high-temperature oxidation resistance, for instance, in kiln furniture applications

Innovation in conjunction with our customers

The R&D department is dedicating significant research into developing new solutions for the Technical Ceramics industry. A number of new applications are currently emerging for Silicon Carbide, in such fields as automotive emissions control (DPF), corrosive fluid control, wear resistance, passive armor and energy-efficient technologies in the petrochemical industry.

Fiven laboratory
Silicon carbide quality control by Fiven

A source of innovation

At the core of the corporate innovation strategy is a strong focus on innovation through co-development programs with our customers or external partners.

Co-development is a form of close partnership to design and create a product specifically designed to meet a market need.

In such development processes, the R&D teams involved are working together with manufacturing and sales/marketing specialists on both sides to identify optimal solutions that will benefit both parties. Significant new product developments are therefore often made in close cooperation with leading customers, with whom we enter into strict confidentiality agreements.

Our partners are then 100% assured that confidential information will not be shared to a third party.

Production of SIKA® Silicon Carbide and co-development