In Situ Spinel Formation in a Smart Nano-Structured Matrix for No-Cement Refractory Castables

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    • Publication Information:
      MDPI, 2020.
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    • Abstract:
      The hydration of an equimolar mixture of MgO and Al2O3 nano-powders has been proven to be an effective way to synthesize Mg6Al2CO3(OH)16∙4H2O as a component of a nano-structured matrix and magnesia-alumina spinel precursor for high-performance cement-free corundum-spinel refractory castables. (Mg3)&ndash
      brucite sites (417 °
      C) formed initially within the magnesia&ndash
      alumina hydrating blended paste were replaced with (Mg2Al)&ndash
      OH and (Mg3)&ndash
      OH hydrotalcite sites, which were dehydroxylated at 420 °
      C and 322 °
      C, respectively. This reorganization was connected with the incorporation of anions and water molecules in the interlayer spacing of hydrotalcite, which was dehydrated at 234 °
      C. Hence, the thermal decomposition of a nano-structured matrix system containing mainly Mg6Al2CO3(OH)16∙4H2O consists of a complex sequence of dehydration, dehydroxylation and decarbonization, and this finally leads to the formation of inverse spinel MgAl2O4 and periclase MgO through many intermediate stages containing the mixed tetrahedral-octahedral Al phase and MgO-like structure. Hence, the hydraulic bond that primarily existed was replaced by a ceramic bond at a relatively low temperature, i.e., 700 °
      C, where a spinel was formed. Important changes in oxygen coordination polyhedra around Al3+ in the dehydrated-dehydroxylated hydrotalcite occurred between 600 and 1100 °
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