"Plasma Melting Technology – a novel route to Ceramic tubes"

Reference Presenter Authors
13-003 Lars Ortmann Ortmann, L.(Qsil GmbH Quarzschmelze Ilmenau);

QSIL has been fabricating fused silica since 30 years. The melting technology was developed in the 1980ies. It uses an electric discharge (arc) of several hundred kW power to melt quartz and to produce large hollow cylinders of quartz glass with a high energy efficiency. The cylinders may be up to several hundred kg in weight. In a recent investigation, QSIL started to apply its plasma melting technology to materials other than quartz.

In this work we describe the way from the laboratory to the production of tubes made of materials which otherwise are manufactured over the ceramic route, with the plasma melting technology. On the example of the Al2O3 (alpha corundum), we will explain the utilization of the plasma technology as an energy efficient method for the production of ceramic materials. The structure of the developed sandwich material, consisting of sinter phase and recrystallized melting phase, was investigated with following analysis methods: µXRD; REM; density measurement; EBDS measurement, microscopy and measurement of porosity. We try to make conclusions about the interaction between the variation of process parameters and the structures and properties of created material. The material (alpha corundum) produced has an acceptable strength, a good thermal shock resistance and the tubes are gas tight at high temperatures. In the end we would like to give an outlook on the application of the plasma technology for the production of ceramic tubes.

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