Phase Transformation and Sintering of Algeria Clay Powder
L. Beddiara, F. Sahnouneb,c, M. Heraizb and D. Redaouib
aDepartment of Material Science, Faculty of Exact Science and Science of the Nature and Life, University Mohamed Khaiddar Beskra, Algeria
bPhysics and Chemistry of Materials Lab, Department of Physics, University of M'sila, 28000, M'sila, Algeria
cResearch Unit on Emerging Materials (RUEM), Ferhat Abbas of Setif 01, Setif 19000, Algeria
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Clay is one of the most used natural materials in the ceramic industry with various applications such as pottery, tiles, cement and bricks. The latter are used as a building material because of their excellent thermal and mechanical properties. In the present study, Algerian clay from Al-maathed area, M'sila district, was used to prepare bricks. The chemical composition of the clay was determined using X-ray fluorescence. Firing of clay was carried out in the temperature range 20-1000°C, at different heating rates. The present phases and their transformations, the activation energy, and the sintering mechanism were evaluated using X-ray diffraction, differential thermal analysis, thermogravimetric analysis and dilatometry. The activation energy for the sintering mechanism obtained from non-isothermal treatments is 420 kJ/mol. The value of the Avrami exponent, n, is determined from the shape of the crystallization exothermic dependence. It is related to m parameter (a numerical factor which depends on the dimensionality of crystal growth) obtained by Matusita method. Both of which are about 1.2 for clay sintering. These values indicate that bulk nucleation is dominant in clay sintering by three-dimensional growth, with polyhedron-like morphology controlled by interface reaction.

DOI: 10.12693/APhysPolA.131.566
PACS numbers: 81.05.Mh, 81.70.Pg, 81.30.Mh