Deagglomeration of High Purity Fine Alumina Powder via pH Control

Andanastuti Muchtar(1*), Norazmira Wati(2), Nor Azri Jaafar(3)

(1) Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Malaysia Fax: 603-89259659
(2) Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Malaysia Fax: 603-89259659
(3) Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Malaysia Fax: 603-89259659
(*) Corresponding Author


This paper presents results from a study on the effect of the pH of suspensions on the deagglomeration of a high-purity (99.99%), fine-grained alumina powder. The pH of the suspension was varied between pH 2 and 3. It is the aim of the study to determine the best pH for a successful dispersion of the alumina powders in the suspension. A series of rheological studies and analytical work under Scanning Electron Microscopy were conducted. It was found that the best pH was pH 2. Data obtained from rheological studies using a viscometer showed that the alumina suspension prepared at pH 2 was least viscous, which may be taken as a negative indicator of the presence of agglomerates. This hypothesis is validated by visual inspection using SEM. For the pH 2 samples, a successful removal of the agglomerates in the green compact has encouraged the sinterability of the samples and thus, resulted in an earlier sintering process at a low-firing temperature. In addition, the sintering characteristics and microstructures of the samples prepared with a pH 2 suspension are also presented.


colloidal processing, fine alumina powders, pH control, rheology, sintering characteristics, microstructure

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ASEAN Journal of Chemical Engineering  (print ISSN 1655-4418; online ISSN 2655-5409) is published by Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada.