Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions?  Wondering what a silicon carbide single crystal is or what it can do for you?

What is the average diameter and length of silicon carbide whiskers?

Silar® and SI-TUFF™ silicon carbide whiskers have an average diameter of 0.65 microns and an average length of 10-12 microns.  At this length, the whiskers are virtually unbreakable.

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Can whiskers be shipped dry, and how are whiskers usually packaged?

Whiskers can and typically are shipped as dry powder.

Bulk Sales: In plastic bags within 30 gallon steel or fiber drums.
Small Quantities: In plastic bottles .

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Can whisker samples be ordered?

Yes, packaged in plastic bottles.

However, before you order any product we recommend you consult with our experts.  We can guide you in the right direction, provide some recommendations, and help you avoid pitfalls.   We will get you started off right.   

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Can whiskers be shipped wet?

Yes, depending on your application.  The Si-TUFFTM product can be shipped as a dispersion.   The primary use for this product is in emulsion polymers.  This approach also eliminates all dust management issues.  Custom viscosity modifiers, anti-microbials, etc. can be added to the dispersion according to your specifications.

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Are SiC whiskers hazardous?

Silicon carbide is not bioactive, and is non-hazardous by ingestion or skin contact.  It also has no extractables and is CFR-21 compliant for use in indirect food contact applications.  However, because SiC whiskers can be airborne, they are considered respirable dust (this statement is true for all microfiber and materials, not just SiC whisker).  While there is limited toxicological data, for the sake of caution the industry labels respirable dust as a possible carcinogen by lung inhalation.  Therefore, if the dry powder is being handled, certain precautions will be needed to ensure dust is kept at safe levels.

 

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Is the product REACH compliant?

Yes. The product is REACH pre-registered.   Full registration will take place in 2018. 

 

REACH is an acronym for  Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals for the European Union (EU).  It was enacted in June 2007 and the regulation requires a registration and documentation process for chemicals.  All of our SiC Whiskers are REACH compliant and the materials can be imported in the EU. 
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Are SiC whiskers GRAS (Generally recognized as safe)?

No.  While all of our SiC whisker products are NSF-51 approved for food contact, they are not considered GRAS.  The reason they are not considered GRAS is that the material did not exist when the GRAS list was first published by the FDA.

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Are SiC whiskers flammable or combustible?

No.  Even in an open flame, SiC whiskers will not ignite and are self-extinguishing.

 

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Will SiC whiskers hurt or abrade process equipment?

Unlikely.  All mineral fillers in high loadings tend to wear on metal surfaces.  Experience has shown that SiC whiskers are less abrasive than SiC particulate.  SiC whiskers tend to orient parallel to the surface when being processed, and therefore glide along with less abrasion.  SiC particulate, on the other hand, typically has a rough surface and will impinge on and abrade process equipment faster.  We have seen very few cases where process equipment wear is an issue.   The general rule of thumb is to process the materials with minimal surface speeds (lower shear rates) and lower viscosity to keep surface impacts at a minimum.  

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