Hexoloy® SP SiC Material

Material Properties

Hexoloy® SP SiC is a sintered alpha silicon carbide material designed specifically for optimum performance in sliding contact applications such as mechanical seal faces and product lubricated bearings.


This material improves upon the exceptional friction properties of Hexoloy® SA SiC (sintered alpha SiC) through the addition of spherical pores. These pores are discrete, non-interconnecting and dispersed in a controlled manner throughout the body of the material.


The spherical pores act as fluid or lubricant reservoirs, helping to promote the retention of a fluid film at the interface of sliding component surfaces.


This ‘pore’ based lubrication mechanism allows Hexoloy® SP SiC to outperform conventional reaction-bonded and sintered silicon carbides in a wide variety of operating conditions.

How Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories manufactures its precision engineered Hexoloy® sintered silicon carbide products?

Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories pioneered the technology to manufacture a pressureless sintered silicon carbide material - Hexoloy® - in the late 1970s.

Forming Options

Economical forming is determined by shape, quantity volume and tolerances of the final part.

Dry pressing to size is the most economical forming method for volumes of 300 pieces or more, which helps justify the initial expense of tooling designed specifically for each part.

Isostatic pressing is best suited to low volumes and prototype items. 

Pre-Sinter (Green) Machining

Machining in the pre-sintered, or green, state is desirable because it allows manufacturing of complex finished shapes without expensive grinding of sintered material.

Green machining is accomplished using conventional processes. Stock removal can be accomplished 15 times faster in the green state than in the sintered state.

Green machining provides parts to tolerances of 0.5% to 1.0% of their final dimensions. Typical green machined surface finishes range between 32 and 64 µin.

Grinding and Finishing

Precision grinding capabilities have been developed to meet the exacting specification requirements required by the automotive, aerospace and nuclear industries.

Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories has the expertise to grind to close tolerances on most shapes (.0005").

Typical ground parts hold finishes of 16 µin or better. When surface finishes are critical in improving friction and wear performance, finishing operations can improve surfaces up to 4 µin providing surface flatness to one helium light band.

Quality Assurance

Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories maintains the highest level of quality by leveraging state-of-the-art, non-destructive evaluation equipment for final quality inspections of internal structures.

These techniques include bulk and surface wave ultrasonics, fluorescent dye penetrant, radiography, acoustic emission, and photomicrography.


Property Units Typical Values
Composition* - SiC
Grain Size µm  
Density g / cm3 3.04
Hardness (Knoop)** kg / mm2 2,800
Flexural Strength 4pt @ RT*** MPa 240
x103 lb / in2 35
Modulus of Elasticity @ RT GPa 400
x106 lb / in2 58
Weibull Modulus (2 parameter)   19
Poisson Ratio   0.14
Fracture Toughness @ RT MPa x m1/2 4.3
Double Torsion & SENB x103 lb / in2 x in1/2 3.9
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion x10-6 mm / mmK 4.2
RT to 700°C x10-6 in / in °F 2.3
Mean Specific Heat @ RT J / gmK 0.59
Thermal Conductivity @ RT W / mK 110
Btu / ft h °F 64
Pore Volume Fraction % 4.0 - 6.0
Pore Size (Typical) µm 50

* Composition code: Si = free silicon metal; C = free graphite; SiC = silicon carbide

** Knoop 0.1 kg load

*** Test bar size: 3 x 4 x 45 mm (0.118" x 0.157" x 1.772")