Ceramic membranes can be produced of various inorganic materials. However, the solid and long-lasting material silicon carbide, also denoted its chemical formula SiC, is rapidly emerging as it provides some unique advantages compared to traditional ceramic and polymeric membranes. Let us dive into silicon carbide and what unique benefits this material offers.
The material silicon carbide is a synthetically produced crystalline compound containing pure silicon and pure carbon. Silicon carbide is the second hardest material globally, exclusively exceeded by diamonds, and the hardest man-made material ever made. On Mohs Scale, which measures mineral hardness based on an ordinal scale ranging from 1-10, silicon carbide scores 9.5, while diamonds score 10. Due to silicon carbide's strength and durability, this chemical technology has been employed for various industrial applications since the late 19th century, when the material was first produced while attempting to make artificial diamonds. More recently, this element found its way to ceramic membranes for liquid filtration, where it provides a porous support structure, which filtered water can permeate. SiC ensures thermal and mechanical stability, vital for many industrial applications, especially if frequent cleaning or sterilization processes are required. Employing such a solid and long-lasting material secures a high-quality product with a long lifetime and some unique advantages.