Sample preparation in the Ceramics Sector

Assurance of quality and process standards

Idar-Oberstein, (PresseBox) - Clays, chamottes and ceramics are used in various ways and must therefore be in accordance with different degrees of quality standards. These quality standards have especially in recent years gained in significance for the processing industry and therefore at the same time for the producers of such chamottes and ceramics. Based on the risen quality standards more and more often, the crude materials and also the finished products are more precisely analyzed. Considered are the classic chemical and physical variables, as well as the technological data of crude materials and finished parts like for example
- Geochemical and mineralogical composition
- Thermal endurance
- Heat conductance & coefficient of thermal expansion
- Breaking resistance & flexural strength

Based on the very inhomogeneous composition of clays, which are mostly composed of various clay minerals, a sample preparation in a clay and ceramics laboratory for further analytical use via x-ray fluorescence, atomic absorption spectrometer, or inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry, or AES is mandatory, since the chemical composition of the crude materials has a decisive influence on the technical abilities of the finished products.
Due to these facts, one of the leading producers for crude clays, milling clays, chamottes and ceramic masses, the renowned company from the Westerwald region in Germany, Goerg & Schneider, chose the FRITSCH Planetary Mono Mill PULVERISETTE 6 with an agate grinding set, for the efficient and time saving sample preparation.
The main area of utilization of the PULVERISETTE 6 is the fine grinding of milling clays respectively pre-broken pieces of firing clays. The size of the basic sample is between 0.2-0.5 mm.
The finely ground chamottes are needed in order to produce - by adding bentonite as a bonding clay - models for the determination of the thermal expansion coefficient. Furthermore, the in this manner obtained sample amount of approximately 100 grams is used for the disintegration of the fusion tablet during the X-ray fluorescence analysis in order to determine the chemical composition of the finished product.
The decision in regards of the selection of the comminution tools is mainly based on the chemical composition (see element analysis below), as well as in the physical and mechanical characteristics of agate.
Element - Share
Silicone oxide - SiO2 99.9 %
Aluminium - Al2O3 < 0.02 %
Iron oxide - Fe2O3 < 0.02 %
Calcium oxide - CaO < 0.02 %
Magnesium - MgO < 0.02 %
Sodium carbonate - Na2O < 0.02 %
Potassium carbonate - K2O < 0.02 %
Manganese oxide - MnO < 0.02 %

Physical and mechanical properties
Density - 2.65 g/cm³
Hardness - 6.5 – 7 Mohs

Due to the considered relative chemical neutrality of the composition (99.9 % SiO2) therefore no other elements from the agate, respectively from the preparation, influence at all or only in a limited manner the material characteristics, like for example the firing colour, heat conductance, or the flexural strength of the finished products. The Mohs hardness of the agate with 6.5 -7, is above this also sufficient for fulfilling the demanded tasks in a qualitative manner of a 100%.

Illustration A shows that the insertion of SIO2 as indicator for the emerging abrasion during mechanical comminution of the agate grinding set, can despite the clearly higher application of energy of the planetary mill compared to the previous preparation with the mortar principle, be almost completely masked out.

An additional very decisive criteria for the purchase of the planetary mono mill PULVERISETTE 6 by FRITSCH, was the efficient preparation and the associated economy of time during the sample preparation with this type mill – the planetary mill.
Due to the use of the planetary mill, 90% of time was saved, compared of the previously used mechanical preparation.

Fritsch GmbH

FRITSCH: Your specialist in the processing laboratory

FRITSCH is the world-wide leading manufacturer of instruments for sample preparation and particle size analysis in the laboratory. Since 87 years now, the company is concentrating on the three product groups and identified with the brand names of PULVERISETTE, ANALYSETTE and LABORETTE in research and industrial laboratories. The FRITSCH name is synonymous with technical competence and economical efficiency in all matters in the field of

milling - particle sizing - dividing

Because FRITSCH operates throughout the world, they have the unique advantage of vast experience in a wide variety of scientific disciplines which enables them to offer constructive solutions to ease problem solving. FRITSCH laboratory instruments ensure proven, extreme longevity, highest quality and innovative technology in combination with simple operation.

Here a short view of the FRITSCH instrument range:

Mills for analytical sample preparation
FRITSCH offers an entire range of instruments for crushing, grinding, fine-milling, mixing and homogenising of hard-brittle, fibrous, elastic to soft materials dry or in suspension. The FRITSCH variety of grinding mills includes different ball mills, planetary ball mills, cutting mills, rotor mills, jaw crushers enables an optimal adjustment of the grinding process to the sample material and the following analyse.
Show us the sample, which you can’t manage to grind and we’ll show you the instrument which can do it!

Sieve Shakers and Laser Particle Sizers for particle size determination
FRITSCH with their vast experience in the particle sizing field offers Sieve Shakers as well as Laser Particle Sizers in different version.
FRITSCH offers due to its equipment varieties for each special use and application a particle size measuring instrument, which uses the most modern laser technology or the well-tried and reliable sieving method and this with an unbeatable price-to-performance ratio.

Laboratory instruments for analytical sample handling
The FRITSCH instrument range also includes sample divider and feeder, because representative sample dividing of dry samples or suspension as well as controlled and uniform sample feeding for mills and other instruments are basic conditions for reliable and precise analysis.

In addition to the complete programme of laboratory instruments, FRITSCH also offers a comprehensive range of services with Workshops, product presentations with the FRITSCH-Mobile laboratory bus on your door step, test milling or particle size analysis of your sample at no charge and much more.

Please use our instrument search engine and our grinding report data base on the FRITSCH-Homepage under www.fritsch.de – sample preparation – solutions. Here you will find your suitable instrument as well as a comparative grinding report comparable with your application.

Make use of our decades of experience. We can facilitate your work substantially.

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