Yield stress modelling of doped alumina suspensions for applications in freeze granulation: towards dry pressed transparent ceramics
Rheology of powder suspensions is a key factor in many processing routes, and better understanding of the parameters that control the rheology improves technical progress by reducing the empirical factors in the formulation of powder slurries. The strict requirements for the production of transparent polycrystalline alumina demand a fundamental understanding of powder handling and processing steps. The use of dopants (Mg, Y, La) has proven useful, but produces noticeable effects on suspension rheology and influences the choice of the processing route. With the prospect of spray granulation of such slurries, the rheological behaviour of doped alumina suspensions was investigated from a fundamental approach taking into account slurry and particle characteristics, and computing the interparticle potentials. This information was then used in a yield stress model which successfully predicted the rheological behaviour of the doped alumina slurries. A strategy for improved slurry formulation is presented.