Sintered silicon nitride has many desired properties, however, for most applications these materials are too expensive to compete with metal parts. Sintered reaction-bonded silicon nitride (SRBSN) is more economical, with raw material costs <27% those of comparable high-purity materials, making it competitive with metal parts. Conventional processing of SRBSN requires long nitridation times and a two-step firing process. Microwave (MW) heating reduces the reaction times and is performed in a one-step process, thereby simplifying the operation. The flexural strength of the MW-SRBSN is equivalent to the strength of some materials made from higher-cost powders. Thus, these materials may be appropriate for a number of applications.