A grain growth model based on the results of Monte-Carlo simulations is proposed for silicon nitride. The model was derived from the Potts model; in addition, principal characteristics of silicon nitride such as presence of liquid phase and anisotropy of grain growth were introduced. Employing this model, microstructure development of silicon nitride was investigated.
Under certain simulation conditions, several grains grew in preference to other grains, and consequently, a self-reinforced microstructure was produced similar to that of actual silicon nitride. In particular, liquid phase fraction was found to be dominant factor affecting microstructure development.