As it is one of the most thermodynamically stable technical ceramic materials with high hardness as well, silicon nitride ceramic is ideal for bearing parts, especially for those required to work at high speed and high temperature. Si3N4 bearing balls have already been applied in automobiles, rocket high-speed engines, equipment working in a corrosive environment, and some performance model cars. Compared with steel, high-performance ceramic balls have better mechanical properties under high temperature and could survive most of the corrosive chemicals.
Silicon nitride has also been used in high-temperature applications, such as rocket engines. It was considered as one of the few monolithic ceramic materials that could survive the severe thermal shock and thermal gradients generated in hydrogen-oxygen rocket engines.
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