Pore Structure, Permeability, and Alkali Attack Resistance of Al2O3-C Refractories

Research paper by Yibiao Xu, Shaobai Sang, Yawei Li, Bo Ren, Lei Zhao, Yuanbing Li, Shujing Li

Indexed on: 25 Feb '14Published on: 25 Feb '14Published in: Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A


Al2O3-C refractories were first fabricated in a coke bed at 1673 K (1400 °C) using tabular corundum, reactive alumina, carbon black, silicon, and microsilica as the starting materials and phenol resin as the binder. Then the alkali attack resistance of those materials was conducted in the powder mixture of carbon black and potassium carbonate (1:1 wt pct) in a graphite crucible at 1273 K (1000 °C) for 10 hours. The correlation between pore size, permeability of Al2O3-C refractories, and their alkali (K2CO3) attack was investigated by means of mercury intrusion porosimetry, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results showed that the pore structure of Al2O3-C refractories was controlled by the addition of silicon, ultrafine reactive alumina, and microsilica to in-situ form SiC whiskers and mullite in the preparation process. The mean pore size of Al2O3-C refractories was strongly associated with permeability. With the decrease of the mean pore size, the permeability of the Al2O3-C refractories reduced constantly. The alkali attack test also verified that the Al2O3-C refractories with lower permeability had better alkali corrosion resistance, because the penetration of K vapor into the materials could be restricted effectively. The corrosion mechanism of Al2O3-C refractories supposes that (1) K2CO3 was reduced to K vapor and penetrated into the specimen through the open pores and (2) K vapor reacted with SiC, SiO2, and alumina to form KAlSi2O6 and KAlSiO4, which is in agreement with the thermodynamic prediction.