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Properties of Porous Mullite Filter Material Fabricated from Reaction Sintered Mullite Grains

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Abstract

This research investigates the fabrication of porous mullite filter material from reaction sintered mullite grains for high-temperature applications. Current filter types are not suitable for application in high-temperature and corrosive environments despite their high porosity. Acicular Mullite Ceramics are known for their highly porous microstructures with excellent mechanical integrity. Fabrication of a rod-like porous mullite filter from mullite grains produced from pyrophyllite clay and Al2O3 via reaction sintering was investigated. Pure mullite phase was produced at 1600 °C, and the use of a binder and foaming agent helped to obtain a porous structure. Above 1700 °C, acicular mullite grain growth via two-dimensional heterogeneous nucleation was promoted. A friable and structurally poor material was produced at temperatures just below 1800 °C. Above 1800 °C, the structural integrity of the ceramic material was improved. The measured total porosity and average pore diameter at 1800 °C were 36.20% and 29.32 µm, respectively. The measured density was 1.99 g/cm3, and the average compressive strength was 12.60 MPa. The characteristic strength was 14.49 MPa, with a Weibull modulus of 2.67.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the University of the Witwatersrand; the Microscopy and Microanalysis Unit (MMU) for XRD; Mr Nelwalani for SEM analysis and DST-NRF Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Strong Materials for funding.

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Ntholeng, N., Rokebrand, P., Mphasha, N.P. et al. Properties of Porous Mullite Filter Material Fabricated from Reaction Sintered Mullite Grains. J. of Materi Eng and Perform (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11665-023-08462-8

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