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Vesti Novosibirsk. Novosibirsk Scientists Test New Method of Ceramics Production

10 December 2020

The chemists from Novosibirsk intend to make the manufacturing of ceramics more energy efficient. The issue does not consider the homeware and ceramic dishes. The materials based on silicon are used in various industries from aviation to mechanic engineering.

The scientists of Boreskov Institute of Catalysis decided to improve the properties of ceramics and cheapen the process of its manufacturing. They received the supporting grant from the Government of Novosibirsk region for the development of the new method. The ceramic materials are widely used in aircraft industry, space technologies, in the motor details, body armors, bearings. But ceramics has a significant flaw, fragility. The chemists from Novosibirsk suggest their solution how to make one of the world’s most demanded materials stronger and less expensive.

Carbon nanotubes are one of the main ingredients of the chemical cocktail. Transforming in the course of reactions they arm silicon carbide, the basis for the ceramic material. Many researchers tried to mix the components, but only BIC’s scientists developed a truly efficient technology.

The researchers synthesize the carbon nanotubes on the basis of gas ethylene in reactor. This process is complicated and labor-consuming. Its productiveness is 3 tons of nanotubes in a year. It is enough for manufacturing 300 tons of the ready composite.

“To mix a nanotube powder with a matrix of silicon carbide is a process with quite a number of parameters that we optimized and learned to obtain the mixtures with the uniform distribution of the components. This is a key task for obtaining the composites with improved properties”, — explains Sergey Moseenkov , the Senior Researcher of Boreskov Institute of Catalysis.

By estimate of the scientists, the properties of thus modified ceramics would improve if not by times then for tens of per cents: durability for one third, crack resistance, for one half.

“Crack resistance is a very important indicator. In fact, the properties of any material are determined by a complex of values. For ceramics in this case it is crack resistance that is crucial”, — noted Vladimir Kuznetsov, head of Laboratory of Nanostructured Carbon Materials of BIC.

The method is energy efficient. The equipment is cheaper, the electricity expenditures are lower.

“Economy is in that our composite sinters at a temperature about 500-600 degrees lower than that at which ceramics sinters today, which is very beneficial in terms of energy. This would lessen the cost of the final product for about 15-20 %”, — explained Aleksey Zavorin, Junior Researcher of BIC.

At the next stage the scientists intend to examine the properties of ceramics obtained with the new method, and in the future they hope to spark the interest of the experimental technologies in the manufacturers.

Source: Vesti Novosibirsk

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