ABSTRACT This paper deals with the effect of microwave energy for mullite formation from placer sillimanite. A mullite formation is seen when 60 % SiC and 5% binder are used with the composite charge material, i.e. sillimanite (60%) and Al2O3 (40%). The maximum temperature of the microwave sintering furnace achieved is 1355°C at 2450 W microwave power. Addition of 10 % binder to the same charge material with 60% SiC, the furnace temperature achieved is 1384°C at microwave power 1900 W. Mullite is formed within 25 minutes from the sillimanite, under the above experimental conditions. Whereas under the similar additive conditions, the mullite formed from sillimanite in conventional furnace heating, it took 3 hours at 1300°C. XRD data show the mullite phase for both the products obtained from microwave sintering furnace and conventional furnace. FESEM image analysis shows the mullite formations, SiC fibrous cluster and alumina needles in microwave treated sample. Thus microwave heat source is much more effective for value addition to red sediment placer sillimanite to form mullite in compare to conventional furnace.
Cite this paper
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