Synthesis and Characterization of MgA1ON-BN refractories

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: In order to meet the need of metallurgical industry in the world, a new MgAlON-BN composite which can be used for example in special refractory nozzles, tubes and break rings for the continuous casting of steel was studied in the present thesis. The aim was to understand the mechanism of synthesis and their physicochemical properties during the application. Thus, the thermodynamic properties, synthesis process, mechanical properties, thermal shock behaviour, thermal diffusivity/conductivity as well as corrosion resistance to molten iron containing oxygen and molten slag of MgAlON and MgAlON-BN composites have been investigated.The Gibbs energy of formation of MgAlON was estimated using the method proposed by Kaufman. The phase stability diagram of Mg-Al-O-N-B was investigated, and consequently the synthesis parameters were determined. MgAlON and MgAlON-BN composites were fabricated by hot-pressing method. The composites obtained this way were characterized by XRD, SEM, TEM and HREM analyses. A Matrix-flushing method was employed in the quantitative XRD analysis for the multi-component samples to understand the mechanism of synthesis.The relationship between mechanical properties and microstructure of the composites was investigated. The experimental results indicated that BN addition has significant influence on the mechanical properties of the composites. These can be explained by the fact that BN has low Young’s modulus, density and non-reactive nature as well as considerable anisotropy of many properties such as thermal expansion, thermal diffusivity/conductivity. Thus, the addition of BN in MgAlON is likely to lead to the presence of microcracks caused by the mismatch of thermal expansion coefficient. The microcracks result in the enhancement of the strength at elevated temperature and thermal shock durability of the composites.Effective thermal conductivities were evaluated from the present experimental results of thermal diffusivities, heat capacity and density. A model suitable for present composites has been derived based on Luo’s model. The predicted lines calculated by the model were in good agreement with experimental results.The reactions between the composites and molten iron as well as the slag were investigated by ‘‘finger’’ experiments and sessile drop experiments. Both experimental results indicated that the BN addition has positive influence on the corrosion resistance. These are attributed to the excellent corrosion resistance of BN to molten iron and slag, such as the higher contact angle between BN substrate and liquid iron and molten slag compared with that obtained for pure MgAlON.