Advanced Technical Ceramics by Shigeyuki Somiya (Eds.)

By Shigeyuki Somiya (Eds.)

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4 graphs the relationship between the impurity level ( N a 0 , by percentage) and the average diameter of the primary particles for several commercially available aluminas. These two characteristic values were chosen because elimination of these impurities that influence particle growth during sintering is definitely desirable and because the diameter 2 3 2 Starting m a t e r i a l s Mineral structure Impurities Other Production process Bayer method Other method Decomposition and firing c o n d i t i o n s Firing steps, temperature, atmosphere, duration, additives, etc.

B o t h the material's microscopic characteristics as particles—individual particle size a n d distribution, the size of t h e aggregate particles, their distribution, a n d their s t r e n g t h — a n d its macroscopic nature as a particu­ late s u b s t a n c e — b u l k density, compressibility, fluidity, volume of absorbed 3. Synthetic Raw Materials for Ceramics 31 31 l i q u i d — a r e important data. T h e properties required in the finished cera­ mics regulate the characteristics sought.

T h e relationship between these factors and the quality of the resulting ceramics is becoming increasingly clear. Moreover, the example of alumina, the archetypical ceramic material for which extreme micro control of the particles making u p the raw material is necessary, shows a record of progress in producing higher quality alumina ceramics. This progress was achieved through constant improvements in the alumina powder produc­ tion process that created a better raw material. A s the history of alumina suggests, selecting and using good raw mate­ rial p o w d e r s is a critical first step in producing good ceramics.

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