A conventional hydrothermal treatment with various concentrations of NaOH was used at 150° and 190°C to dissolve excess silica glass and thus make porous mullite ceramics from a fired New Zealand kaolin body. The effect of hydrothermal treatment time on the dissolution of the glass was examined. At 150°C, the dissolution of glass was almost complete after treatment for 8 hrs in 5 N-NaOH solution and about 40-43 wt% of the glass was removed from the fired kaolin body leading to porous mullite. However, when the fired kaolin body was treated for more than 5 hrs in 5 N-NaOH at 190°C, a composite of mullite and a nonporous crystalline phase of unknown symmetry resulted. These crystals formed from the dissolution and recrystallization of the glass. After the dissolution of glass in 2 N-NaOH solution at 190°C for 5 hrs, a porous mullite body of 52.8% porosity with an average pore diameter of 0.57 μm could be obtained, and this was only composed of mullite whiskers. Growth of unidentified nonporous crystals in the body which was treated in 5 N-NaOH solution at 190°C led to a decrease in specific surface area and therefore, these crystals should be avoided.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering