Development of Cost-Effective Low-Permeability Ceramic and Refractory Components for Aluminum Melting and Casting

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The primary goal of this project was to develop and validate new classes of cost-effective low-permeability ceramic and refractory components for handling molten aluminum in both melting and casting environments. Three approaches were employed with partial to full success to achieve this goal: (1) Develop materials and methods for sealing surface porosity in thermal-shock-resistant ceramic refractories; (2) Develop new ceramic coatings for extreme service in molten aluminum operations, with particular emphasis on coatings based on highly stable oxide phases; and (3) Develop new monolithic refractories designed for lower-permeability applications using controlled porosity gradients and particle size distributions. The results of ... continued below

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Brown, Dale E. & Kadolkar, Puja B. December 15, 2005.

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The primary goal of this project was to develop and validate new classes of cost-effective low-permeability ceramic and refractory components for handling molten aluminum in both melting and casting environments. Three approaches were employed with partial to full success to achieve this goal: (1) Develop materials and methods for sealing surface porosity in thermal-shock-resistant ceramic refractories; (2) Develop new ceramic coatings for extreme service in molten aluminum operations, with particular emphasis on coatings based on highly stable oxide phases; and (3) Develop new monolithic refractories designed for lower-permeability applications using controlled porosity gradients and particle size distributions. The results of the research work and the field tests performed utilizing these three approaches are listed below: (1) It was demonstrated that high-density IR heating could be a tool for altering and sealing the surface porosity of fused silica. However, the process was not very cost-effective. (2) A low-cost glaze composition having a coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) similar to that of a DFS tube was identified and was successfully tested for its integrity and adherence to DFS. Although the glaze acted as a barrier between the molten aluminum and the DFS, persistent porosity and crazing within the glaze affected its performance during the reactivity tests, thus acting as an obstacle in scaling up production of this glaze. (3) Pyrotek's XL glaze showed great success in improving the life of the DFS tubes. Pyrotek has reported an increasing market demand for the XL-coated DFS tubes, which exhibit useful lifetimes three times better than those of uncoated tubes. (4) A computer model to optimize particle size distribution for reduced permeability was developed and successfully applied to casting formulations. Silica riser tubes produced using these new formulations have been tested in a commercial aluminum casting facility and have been reported to increase the life of the DFS tubes by 700%. (5) If all the DFS riser tubes used in LPD casting of aluminum automotive components are replaced with the better, longer-lasting castable riser tubes, the potential national energy savings is estimated to be 206 billion Btu/year.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2005/266
  • Grant Number: FC36-02ID14244
  • DOI: 10.2172/878541 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 878541
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc875539

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • December 15, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • July 13, 2017, 2:44 p.m.

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Brown, Dale E. & Kadolkar, Puja B. Development of Cost-Effective Low-Permeability Ceramic and Refractory Components for Aluminum Melting and Casting, report, December 15, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc875539/: accessed September 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.