Vysokoteplotní fázové transformace kaolinitu v závislosti na krystalinitě
Although kaolinite is one the most important industrial minerals, the processes of its transformation to mullite have not been completely explained so far. The study is focused on kaolinite crystallinity calculation and its effect on high-temperature phases transitions in the series kaolinite-mullite. Samples of purified natural kaolins from several sites were analysed using X-ray diffraction (XRD). Besides the determination of the complex mineral composition, kaolinite crystallite size was calculated from XRD data by the Rietveld method, Scherrer equation and using the Hinckley crystallinity index. Thermal analysis (DSC/TG) was used as the principal approach to examine endothermic and exothermic effects of kaolinite transformations. The course and maximum temperatures of the observed effects were correlated with the original crystallite size of kaolinite. Two samples with different kaolinite crystallinity were also analysed by high-temperature X-ray diffraction (ht-XRD) to study the formation of mullite. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to visualize morphology of kaolinite.
It was found out that the original crystallinity of kaolinite affects all three examined processes-kaolinite dehydroxylation, formation of crystalline phases from metakaolinite and development of mullite crystal structure. Dehydroxylation of samples with higher kaolinite crystallinity takes place at higher temperatures. Similar effect applies for the reaction(-s) at the temperature about 980 °C observed at heat flow curve where crystallization of spinel type phase and mullite with very low crystallinity occurs. Broadening of FWHM of the exothermic effect points to decreasing kaolinite crystallinity. Crystallization of mullite exhibits different dependence on kaolinite crystallinity than the previous processes. The results show that mullite with larger crystallite size develops faster from kaolinite of low crystallinity and vice versa.
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