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Development and Characterization of Ceramic Matrix Composite (CMC) from Nigerian Kankara Kaolin and Gray Cast Iron Filling
This study developed a ceramic composite material (CMC) for use as a refractory material from "Kankara" clay (kaolin) as a matrix material mixed with gray cast iron (GCI) as reinforcement. The CMCs were prepared by varying the percentage by weight of the gray cast iron using 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 wt%. Tests were conducted on the developed CMC, using standard test techniques, to determine physical and the mechanical properties of the produced composites. The results for mechanical properties showed improvement in the hardness value from 47% at 5% GCI content to 94% at 45% GCI content; the compressive strength improved from 3.11% at 5% GCI to a peak of 7.15% at 25% GCI and then descended down to 3.74% at 45% GCI content while the ultimate tensile strength improved from 0.75% at 5% GCI to a peak of 1.87% at 25% GCI down to 1.34% at 45% GCI content. Equally, there is an increase in bulk density from 1.74% for 5% GCI content to 2.09% for 45% GCI contentment. The linear shrinkage reduced from 11.57% to 1.15%; water absorption also reduced from 33.68% to 15.20%; apparent porosity too reduced from 42.2% to 16.02%. However, cold crushing strength initially increased with increase in GCI content from 3.89 to a peak of 13.32 V for 25% GCI content and progressively dropped to a value of 5.25 V at 45% GCI content. All the values obtained from the blends are within the recommended values for kiln shelves. However, the CMC developed on 25% GCI content showed the best combination of both mechanical and physical properties required of a good material for the production of kiln shelves.
Characterization, Kankara Clay, Gray Cast Iron, Composite and Refractory.
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