Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 2120–2126 | Cite as

Oxidation of silicon nitride in a wet atmosphere

  • Minoru Maeda
  • Kazuo Nakamura
  • Tsutomu Ohkubo


The effect of water vapour on oxidation was studied with hot-pressed silicon nitride containing both yttria and alumina as sintering aids in wet air flow with 10, 20, 30, and 40 vol% H2O at 1300°C for 100 h. The oxidation kinetics were determined in a wet air flow with 20 vol% H2O and in a dry air flow at 1300°C for oxidation times up to 360 h. The water vapour in the atmosphere slightly influenced the oxidation and accelerated the reaction, and the weight gained on oxidation in a wet atmosphere had an increasing tendency with increasing water vapour content. The oxidation proceeded in a diffusion-controlled manner in both wet and dry atmospheres. The values of weight gained in wet oxidation varied to a greater degree than in dry oxidation. Water vapour had a strong effect on the devitrification of the amorphous oxide. This process was presumed to promote the rate of oxidation more than in dry atmosphere. The water vapour also had a strong roughening effect on the surface oxide layer grown during oxidation. The flexural strength at room temperature was degraded by oxidation in a wet atmosphere and it is presumed to be degraded by wet oxidation slightly and consecutively with time.


Water Vapour Yttria Flexural Strength Silicon Nitride Oxidation Time 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Minoru Maeda
    • 1
  • Kazuo Nakamura
    • 1
  • Tsutomu Ohkubo
    • 1
  1. 1.Government Industrial Research Institute, NagoyaNagoyaJapan

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