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Influence of Particle Size on Ice Nucleation and Growth During the Ice-Templating Process

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The solidification behavior of suspensions of alumina particles during directional solidification is investigated here by in situ observations using X-ray radiography and tomography. The objective of this study was to assess the influence of particle size on the solidification behavior of the suspensions during the early stages of solidification. Four powders with particle size in the range of 0.2–3.4 m (median size) were investigated. Solidification is obtained by cooling at a constant rate, starting from room temperature. Attention is specifically paid to the nucleation and growth behavior of the ice crystals in these suspensions. We propose that the nucleation of ice crystals is controlled by the particle size, the surface of the particles acting as nucleation sites. Smaller particle size leads to a lower degree of supercooling because nucleation and growth can proceed at a higher temperature than with larger particles. The initial interface velocity is dependent on the degree of supercooling, and controls the extent of the initial structural gradient in the resulting porous materials.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire de Synthèse et Fonctionnalisation des Céramiques, UMR3080 CNRS/Saint-Gobain CREE, 84306 Cavaillon Cedex, France 2: Université de Lyon, INSA-Lyon, MATEIS CNRS UMR5510, 7 avenue Jean Capelle, F-69621 Villeurbanne, France

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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