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Effect of Varying Quartz Particle Size and Firing Atmosphere on Densification of Brazilian Clay-Based Stoneware

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Body mixes for stoneware containing a Brazilian red clay, nepheline syenite, and quartz with two different median particle sizes (∼2 and 18 m) were fired under oxidizing and reducing atmospheres. The densification behavior was followed by dilatometry simulating the firing schedule, as well as by water absorption, linear shrinkage, and bulk density measurements on as-fired specimens. It was revealed that finer quartz led to interconnected pore closure at 1125°C when fired under an oxidizing atmosphere. Densification was systematically related to the uniformity of the compacts in the unfired state. Phase and microstructural examination by X-ray diffractometry, scanning electron microscopy/energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and transmission electron microscopy/EDS showed that mullite developed more extensively in the stonewares fired in an oxidizing atmosphere, along with cristobalite and haematite, whereas metallic iron was found in stonewares fired under a reducing atmosphere.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1551-2916.2006.00986.x

Affiliations: Department of Engineering Materials, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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