Porous ceramics have been widely used in heat insulation, filtration, and as a catalyst carrier. Ceramics with high porosity and high strength are desired; however, this high porosity commonly results in low strength materials. In this study, porous alumina with high porosity and high strength was prepared by a popular direct foaming method based on particle-stabilized wet foam that used ammonium polyacrylate (PAA) and dodecyl trimethyl ammonium chloride (DTAC) as the dispersant and hydrophobic modifier, respectively. The effects of the dispersant and surfactant contents on the rheological properties of alumina slurries, stability of wet foams, and microstructure and mechanical properties of sintered ceramics were investigated. The microstructure of porous ceramics was regulated using wet foams to achieve high strength. For a given PAA content, the wet foams exhibited increasing stability with increasing DTAC content. The most stable wet foam was successfully obtained with 0.40 wt% PAA and 0.02 wt% DTAC. The corresponding porous alumina ceramics had a porosity of 82%, an average grain size of 0.7 µm, and a compressive strength of 39 MPa. However, for a given DTAC content, the wet foams had decreasing stability with increasing PAA content. A possible mechanism to explain these results is analyzed.
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51602194 and 51772309), and Science Foundation for Youth Scholar of State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructures (SKL201901).
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