MPT Influence on the Rheological Behaviour of Self-Flow Refractory Castables
The success of a refractory castable is largely due to the quality of its properties and ease of application. Self-flow refractory castables (SFRC), with high flowability index (>130%), can be easily accommodated in a mould without the application of external energy, being ideal for the manufacture of monolithic linings. SFRC castables without cement require a matrix of very fine particles, which guarantees improved rheological behaviour and performs the role of the binder in the absence of the refractory cement. The presence of the aggregate (coarse particles) hinders the flowability index, but improves the castable mechanical strength and reduces firing shrinkage, and also contributes to the reduction of the castable costs. The control of the maximum paste thickness (MPT) allows the reduction of the coarse particles interference, minimizing the number of contact points among the grains and avoiding the formation of an aggregate skeleton that impairs the flowability of the mixture. In the present work, 100% alumina SFRCs without cement were produced with a fixed matrix of fine particles, whose particle size distribution was optimized using statistical techniques (mixtures design and triangular response surfaces). Different aggregate particle size distributions were used, with several MPT values, with the objective of evaluating which was the mean distance that maximized the flowability index, simultaneously ensuring good mechanical strength for the refractory castable. Ensuring a minimum surface area of 2.22m2/g, the mixtures reach the self-flow turning point with a minimum water content and the maximum flowability is obtained for an aggregate particle size distribution modulus of q=0.22, and consequently an optimized MPT value. SFRC with high mechanical strength (>60MPa) were obtained.
António Torres Marques, António Fernando Silva, António Paulo Monteiro Baptista, Carlos Sá, Fernando Jorge Lino Alves, Luís Filipe Malheiros and Manuel Vieira
A. P. Silva et al., "MPT Influence on the Rheological Behaviour of Self-Flow Refractory Castables", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 587-588, pp. 133-137, 2008