UltraHard Materials

CeTZP vs Si Nitride

CeTZP vs Metals
 - CeTZP vs Steels
 - CeTZP vs SiNitride
 - Pricing
 - Prototypes
 - Design Issues
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 - References


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Comparing UHMís CeTZP with Silicon Nitride

Silicon Nitride is probably the most common engineering ceramic that is currently being used in applications where a higher performance material is required despite its low fracture toughness.

Table 8

Table 8 lists the mechanical properties of UHMís CeTZP compared to Silicon Nitride (from references 4,5,7,15).

Mechanical Properties


Silicon Nitride

Vickers Hardness (GPa)

9.1 - 13.6+

17 - 19+

Fracture Toughness (MPa.m1/2)

10 - 15.3

4.0 - 5.4

Tensile Strength (MPa)

360 - 420#

400 - 580#

Bend Strength (MPa)

1080 - 1260

190 - 980

Compression Strength (MPa)

1045 - 1459

550 - 2000

Youngís Modulus (GPa)

190 - 200

280 - 310

Density (g/cm3)

6.1 - 6.2

3.2 - 3.5

#estimated from bend strength

+ higher values can be obtained when lower indenter loads are used during Vickers hardness measurements (reference 10).

[All our mechanical tests were carried out on UHM's CeTZP billets.  A LECO test machine for our indentation macrohardness tests utilized 30 kg loads; K1c values were calculated from crack lengths derived from these indentation tests using the equation of Anstis el alia (reference 10)]

UHMís CeTZP engineering ceramic has some clear mechanical property advantages over Silicon Nitride and they are:

  • The fracture toughness of UHMís CeTZP is about three times (or 300%) higher than Silicon Nitride. This means that UHMís CeTZP is less likely to fracture under higher load-bearing conditions than Silicon Nitride

  • The Bend Strength of UHMís CeTZP is higher than that of Silicon Nitride

Table 9

Table 9 lists the thermal properties of CeTZP compared to Silicon Nitride (from references 4,5,7,15)

Thermal Properties


Silicon Nitride

Thermal Expansion Coefficient (10-6/K)

10 - 12

2.6 - 3.3

Thermal Conductivity (W/m.K)


15 - 43

CeTZP engineering ceramic has some thermal property advantages over Silicon Nitride and they are:

  • The thermal expansion coefficient of CeTZP is comparable to that of cast iron (Silicon Nitride has a much lower thermal expansion coefficient which would make Silicon Nitride a mismatch with cast iron)

  • CeTZP has a lower thermal conductivity than Silicon Nitride. Thus, CeTZP is a better candidate material than Silicon Nitride for heat engines.




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