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What is ferrosilicon nitride?

Quality-assured FeSi3N4 for improved taphole clay performance.

Ferrosilicon nitride (FeSi3N4) is a refractory additive used in silicon-carbide and alumina-based refractories, such as taphole mixes for blast furnaces. In these roles, it provides resistance against chemical corrosion, physical erosion and thermal shock, so increasing the holding time of the furnace. Ferrosilicon nitride from Elkem undergoes careful quality-control, and application support is always on hand.

Ferrosilicon nitride (FeSi3N4 or FeSiN), also known as silicon iron nitride or nitrided ferrosilicon, is a highly refractory compound produced by the action of nitrogen upon ferrosilicon at high temperature. Ferrosilicon nitride is an off-white or tan-colored solid that mainly comprises Si3N4, accompanied by free iron and a small number of other components.

Applications of ferrosilicon nitride

The primary application of ferrosilicon nitride is as a component of taphole clay (also known as taphole mud) in blast furnaces, for which it has largely superseded the more expensive silicon nitride.

Using ferrosilicon nitride in taphole clay provides resistance against chemical corrosion and physical erosion from the liquid iron, and helps avoid thermal shock, leading to improved open-clog performance, reduced clay consumption, and increased furnace holding time.

Ferrosilicon nitride can also be used in iron troughs or other alumina-based refractory castables, and is also sometimes used to increase the strength, wear resistance and corrosion resistance of advanced ceramics, and (in granular form) as a strength-improving alloying component in certain steels.

Premium-quality ferrosilicon nitride from Elkem

At Elkem, we source ferrosilicon nitride from a small number of trusted suppliers. Most of our customers request ferrosilicon nitride as 75 µm powder, as this strikes the optimum balance of reactivity and porosity when combined in the final taphole clay. However, we can also accommodate other size specifications, and are working towards providing the larger-grade ferrosilicon nitride used for steel applications.

All our ferrosilicon nitride is quality-checked before it leaves our facility, and from time to time batches are sent off for external chemical testing, to ensure consistent product quality. And if you need guidance on getting the best performance from your ferrosilicon nitride, our experts are always on hand to discuss your application.

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