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Processing of Particle-Stabilized Wet Foams Into Porous Ceramics

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Abstract:

Direct foaming of colloidal suspensions is a simple and versatile approach for the fabrication of macroporous ceramic materials. Wet foams produced by this method can be stabilized by long-chain surfactants or by colloidal particles. In this work, we investigate the processing of particle-stabilized wet foams into crack-free macroporous ceramics. The processing steps are discussed with particular emphasis on the consolidation and drying process of wet foams. Macroporous alumina ceramics prepared using different consolidation and drying methods are compared in terms of their final microstructure, porosity, and compressive strength. Consolidation of the wet foam by particle coagulation before drying resulted in porous alumina with a closed-cell structure, a porosity of 86.5%, an average cell size of 35 m, and a remarkable compressive strength of 16.3 MPa. On the other hand, wet foams consolidated via gelation of the liquid within the foam lamella led to porous structures with interconnected cells in the size range from 100 to 150 m. The tailored microstructure and high mechanical strength of the macroporous ceramics can be of interest for the manufacture of bio-scaffolds, thermal insulators, impact absorbers, separation membranes, and light weight ceramics.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1551-2916.2007.01907.x

Affiliations: Department of Materials, ETH Zürich, Zürich CH-8093, Switzerland

Publication date: November 1, 2007

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