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A group of researchers at Iran Materials and Energy Research Center (MERC) suggested a low-cost process to commercialize the production of refractory ceramics from nanostructured alpha-alumina.
There are several methods for synthesizing alpha-alumina all of which seem to be doomed to face problems like high costs, harsh temperature conditions, etc. So, economic and straightforward processes to obtain such valuable nano-crystalline particles are of high demand and interest, the Iranian Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC) said.
Alpha-alumina has a vast domain of application in a variety of industries, including oil and gas, car industry, electronics and advanced ceramics.
By applying high energy ball milling method, Masoud Badaqi, a researcher at MERC, has successfully tackled the "high temperature requirement" obstacle.
To synthesize these refractory nanostructured ceramics, first, Fe2O3 and Al micropowders with stoichiometric portions along with steel balls of 10 times heavier were placed inside the mill. After the milling, acid washing was performed to ensure a complete removal of iron species. Ultimately, a powder with crystalline size of 20 nanometers was obtained.
"High energy ball milling doesn't entail complicated apparatus. In addition, it is economically efficient and therefore it can be applied practically to produce nano-ceramics at industrial scales and moderately lower temperatures," Badaqi said of the benefits of the method.
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