02 Dec 2010   |   News

Glasgow: A novel method for bonding silicon carbide components


A novel, patent-protected method of bonding silicon carbide has been developed at Glasgow University. The method was originally developed for space technologies but it is suitable for a number of other applications.

The patent covers a novel method for bonding silicon carbide components to themselves and to other materials. The bond is achieved through three simple steps:
  1. Forming a layer of silica on the silicon carbide surface to provide a bonding surface 
  2. Applying a bonding solution including hydroxide ions to the bonding surface of at least one of the parts 
  3. Positioning the parts or the bonding surfaces so that a bond can be formed between them

The method can be used to bond silicon carbide to itself or to components made of other materials including but not restricted to, sapphire, alumina -based materials, aluminium, silicon and zinc. Hydroxide bonding offers many advantages over traditional methods: bonding is achieved at room temperature avoiding any thermal stresses, and the bond is very stable and very thin. This is a major benefit for applications where the vertical alignment can be achieved by manufacturing intolerances of the components in combination with the very thin, uniform layer.

Hydroxide bonds are compatible with high vacuum applications, offer reliable and reproducible bonds and allow for fine adjustment of components before joining.

Patents have been applied for in the EU and the US.

For more information, visit the project’s website at: http://www.university-technology.com/details/silicon-carbide-bonding---high-integrity-structural-joining-of-parts

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