Synthesis of machinable quality magnesium aluminium silicate (MgO-Al2O3-SiO2) for fabrication of insulators/spacers usable in high voltage applications under high vacuum conditions has been carried out following two different routes i.e. (i) sintering route, and (ii) glass route. A three-stage heating schedule involving calcination, nucleation and crystallization, has been evolved for the preparation of magnesium aluminium silicate (MAS) glass ceramic with MgF2 as a nucleating agent. The effect of sintering temperature on the density of compacted material was studied. Microstructure and machinability of samples obtained from both routes were investigated. They were also characterized for microhardness. Initial studies on material obtained by glass route reveal that these samples are superior to those obtained from sintered route in respect of their high voltage breakdown strength and outgassing behaviour. Outgassing rate of 10−9 Torr l·s−1 cm−2 and breakdown strength of 160 kV/cm were obtained. Different types of spacers, lugs, nuts and bolts have been prepared by direct machining of the indigenously developed glass ceramic.
Volume 43, 2020
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