Silicon carbide for hot side components?

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Silicon carbide for hot side components?

Postby lukew101 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:21 pm

Does anyone know if silicon carbide has been considered or used for
hot side components in Stirling engines? It seems like it could be an
ideal material, considering it's high sublimation point(2730C), it
doesn't melt, and high thermal conductivity.
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Silicon carbide for hot side components?

Postby stan.hornbaker » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:52 pm

I have never hear of it being used in any Stirling engines. It is very hard to work with and would in my judgment be a suitable replacement for the materials currently in use.
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Response to Silicon carbide for hot side components?

Postby stan.hornbaker » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:52 pm

CORRECTION, The previous answer should read as follows:
I have never hear of it being used in any Stirling engines. It is very hard to work with and would in my judgment NOT be a suitable replacement for the materials currently in use.
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Response to Silicon carbide for hot side components?

Postby jol.andre » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:47 pm

Modern manufacturing techniques like CVD (chemical vapor-phase deposition) allow fabrication of many shapes from hard materials, that were impossible before. (Machining such parts just wouldn't be practical.)

Tubes and plates of various sizes are now commercially available, being made of the hardest materials like fused silica, sapphire (alumina) and even diamond. Probably SiC, too. Look for laboratory equipment suppliers, they sell chemical reaction tubes made from such materials.

By clever design one might locate the joints in cooler areas, allowing the use of ordinary adhesives.

Silicon carbide is very strong, temperature and oxidation resistant, but it is also brittle so there would be some safety issues when using it to build a pressurized vessel.

As a minimum, a resilient outer enclosure (i.e. made of steel) would be required to contain the debris in case the pressurized SiC parts shatter.
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