Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Ampere 2019

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FEATURES OF UTILITARIAN STONEWARE FIRED WITH MICROWAVE RADIATION
Tiago André Santos, Nuno Santos, Celso Gomes, Luc Hennetier, Vítor Costa, Luís Costa

Last modified: 14-10-2019

Abstract


The energy dependence on fossil resources and the increasing competitiveness of the stoneware industry, which is a relevant natural gas consumer, leads to new and more environmentally friendly firing methods. Microwave radiation is herein presented as an alternative heating technology for stoneware firing. The samples were fired in a multimode furnace with 6 magnetrons in its core, each one operating at a nominal power of 900 W and frequency of 2.45 GHz. A pyrometer and a thermocouple were installed in the microwave furnace for temperature measuring, control and monitoring. Pyrometer was calibrated in an electric furnace for accurate temperature measurements. During calibration, the thermocouple used in the microwave furnace was installed in the electric furnace, giving a temperature difference from the control (electric furnace) of 2 to 5 ºC, from room temperature up to 1450 ºC. To help the stoneware firing, a silicon carbide (SiC) plate was used as microwave susceptor, also working as a support base for the stoneware samples (mugs). The microstructure of the microwave fired stoneware shows features similar to those of conventionally fired samples (gas and electric heating), with the microwave requiring lower firing temperature to reach an equal structure. X-Ray diffraction and scanning electron micrograph show the relevant transformations taking place for lower temperatures when using microwave heating.


Keywords


microwave heating; porcelain; SEM; RX; microstructure

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