Articles written in Bulletin of Materials Science

    • Microstructural, mechanical and phase formation behaviour of sintered mullite prepared from kaolinite and reactive alumina: effect of La$_2$O$_3$


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      Clay and reactive alumina were used to prepare mullite ceramic by wet mixing, followed by the solid-state sintering method. The influence of lanthanum oxide (La$_2$O$_3$) additive for phase formation, microstructural evolution, densification, flexural strength, hardness and thermal shock resistance was studied. The calculated amount of the raw materials, i.e., kaolinite, reactive alumina and different wt% La$_2$O$_3$ additive according to the stoichiometric composition of mullite (3Al$_2$O$_3$.2SiO$_2$) were wet mixed, dried and uniaxially pressed, followed by sintering at different temperatures for 2 h. The La$_2$O$_3$ substitution (3 wt%) positively impacts mullitization by reducing phase formation temperature. A quantity of 3 wt% La$_2$O$_3$ added batch sintered at 1600°C shows strength and bulk density of 196.5 MPa and 3.041 g cm$^{-3}$, respectively. Columnar grains with interlocked morphology were formed by adding a La$_2$O$_3$ additive that improves the bending strength. Retention of strength after 9 cycles of thermal shock is measured and found satisfactory. Higher quantity La$_2$O$_3$ addition showed a deleterious effect on bending strength and hardness of the samples.

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