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Aluminum nitride powder (AlN) has excellent thermal conductivity and electrical insulation properties that make it ideal for high-temperature sintered bodies. It can be produced through direct nitridation and carbothermal reduction methods at competitive cost.
A unique synthesis method for the production of white AlN has been developed by adding 70 wt % NH4Cl to a pure Al powder and heating it at 1000 degC for 1 h. This is a much faster and more economical process than that of using only the Al powder without the NH4Cl addition.
This synthesis method utilizes the mechanism of nitridation of unreacted Al particles to form AlN, and it is also possible to synthesize nitride in a more controlled manner by controlling the amount of NH4Cl added to the starting Al powder. The NH4Cl addition is important because it is known to stabilize the nitridation process.
Synthesis by carbothermal reduction involves heat-treating aluminum oxide or aluminum hydroxide at 1400-1800 degC under a nitrogen or ammonia gas stream in the presence of carbon as a reducing agent. Several oxidation processes occur in this process, but a surface layer is formed that protects the bulk up to 1380 degC.
Surmet has a wide range of aln powder available in multiple grades. It can be used for tape-casting, sintering or as a thermally conductive filler in polymers. In addition, the material can be easily shaped into complex geometries with tight tolerances by diamond tools.