Silicon Carbide vs Tungsten Carbide Mechanical Seal

Are you curious about the differences between Silicon Carbide and Tungsten Carbide mechanical seals?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the unique properties and applications of these two materials.

Discover which one is best suited for your specific sealing needs and learn how to make an informed decision.


Factors to consider when selecting between Silicon Carbide and Tungsten Carbide Mechanical Seal

Physical Properties

Silicon carbide boasts a high hardness rating (Mohs 9-9.5), making it resistant to wear and abrasion. It also has a lower density (3.1 g/cm³) compared to tungsten carbide (15.63 g/cm³).

Silicon carbide has a higher thermal conductivity (120 W/mK) than tungsten carbide (84 W/mK), allowing for better heat dissipation and reduced thermal stresses in the seal faces.

Chemical Properties

Silicon carbide demonstrates excellent corrosion resistance to a wide range of chemicals, including strong acids and bases. Its chemical inertness makes it suitable for applications involving aggressive process fluids.

Tungsten carbide has limitations in its chemical resistance. It is prone to oxidation at high temperatures and may react with certain corrosive media, leading to degradation of the seal faces over time.

Mechanical Properties

Silicon carbide exhibits high strength and fracture toughness, enabling it to withstand mechanical stresses and shock loads encountered during operation. Its high elastic modulus (410 GPa) ensures minimal deformation under pressure, maintaining seal face alignment.

Tungsten carbide also possesses high strength but has a lower fracture toughness compared to silicon carbide. This can make it more susceptible to cracking or chipping in applications with high impact loads or thermal cycling.

Performance in Different Environments

Silicon carbide excels in harsh conditions, including high temperatures, abrasive media, and corrosive fluids. Its thermal stability and chemical inertness make it suitable for a wide range of applications.

Tungsten carbide, while offering good wear resistance, may have limitations in extreme temperatures or highly corrosive environments. Its lower thermal conductivity can lead to increased heat generation at the seal faces, potentially causing premature failure.


Tungsten carbide is generally more affordable than silicon carbide, making it an attractive option for cost-sensitive applications. However, the upfront cost savings should be weighed against the potential long-term costs associated with reduced seal life or increased maintenance requirements.

Silicon carbide, although more expensive, can offer a lower total cost of ownership in demanding applications. Its superior performance and longer service life can offset the initial investment, particularly in critical processes where seal reliability is paramount.

In conclusion

Silicon carbide and tungsten carbide are both excellent choices for mechanical seals, each with their own unique properties. When selecting the right material, consider factors such as the specific application, operating conditions, and budget.

Contact our experts today for personalized recommendations and top-quality mechanical seal solutions.

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