Porous mullite ceramics derived from coal fly ash using a freeze-gel casting/polymer sponge technique
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The objective of this study was to prepare highly porous mullite ceramics with relatively large-sized pores and improved compressive strength using a freeze/gel casting route combined with polymer sponge for recycling of coal fly ash into high value-added ceramics. In this work, a tertiary-butyl alcohol /coal fly ash slurry system with an appropriate addition of Al2O3 was used. A reticulated structure with large pore size of 220–300 μm, which formed on burnout of polyurethane was obtained; then, the skeletons consisted mainly of more dense crystalline phases together with a few fine pores (<3 μm). The rod-shaped mullite crystals with an aspect ratio of >3.7 (~4 μm in diameter) seen to have grown within the silicate melts existed. The compressive strength of the sintered porous materials increased in the reverse order of the degree of porosity, i.e. low porosity gave a high compressive strength. The porous materials with an average porosity of 61.6 %, sintered at 1600 °C with 70 wt.% solid loading showed the maximum average compressive strength (~45 MPa).
KeywordsCoal fly ash Tertiary butyl alcohol Freeze-gel casting/polymer sponge Porous Mullite ceramics
“This work was supported by a 2-Year Research Grant of Pusan National University”.
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