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Muhammad Muddaser Sharif 07-NTU-087

A small-dimension filament or thread composed of a ceramic material, usually alumina, used in lightweight units for electrical, thermal, and sound insulation, filtration at high temperatures, packing, and reinforcing other ceramic materials.

1st alumina based ceramic fiber was produced in early 1970s for thermal insulations It was produced to overcome the relatively lower creep temperature (900 C) of silica based fibers A pure -alumina fiber was first produced by Du Pont in 1979

Excellent Thermal Shock Resistance 99% Pure Alumina Trace Level of Silica (0.09 wt%) Dimensional Stability in Hydrogen Low Thermal Conductivity No Outgassing

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Precursors of alumina are viscous aqueous solutions of basic aluminum salts Spinning of the precursor produces a gel fiber This gel fiber is then dried and heat treated. Decomposition of the precursor induces the precipitation of aluminium hydroxides, such as boehmite AlO(OH)

5. This produces the outgassing of a large volume of residual compounds 6. The compounds associated volume change and porosity at this step has to be carefully controlled. 7. Above 400C and up to around 1000 C the fibre is composed of grains, in the range of 10 to 100nm

8. Above 1100C, stable a-alumina nucleates and a rapid growth of micron-sized grains occurs together with the coalescence of pores 9. The fibres become extremely brittle owing to large grain boundaries emerging at the fibres surfaces and ca 10. The use of alumina fibres above 1100 C therefore requires the control of the nucleation and growth of a-alumina and porosity can not be used in this form.

11. The solution to this problem is achieved by adding either silica precursors or seeds for aalumina formation to the fiber precursors and has led to two classes of alumina-based fibers.