Novel Carbon-Containing Refractories Reinforced By In-situ Carbon Nanotubes

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Engineering Computer Science and Maths

Abstract

Carbon-containing refractory bricks (CCRBs) are one of the most important materials for the iron and steel industry worldwide, e.g. Corus alone spends over 200M/annum on refractories of which 70-80% are carbon-containing refractories. However, their two critical drawbacks, poor oxidation resistance and poor mechanical properties (low mechanical strength and poor erosion resistance), significantly reduce their service life in many applications. Whilst the poor oxidation resistance can now be improved via additions of antioxidants and/or formation of refractory coatings on graphite, the issue of poor mechanical properties has yet to be solved. In this programme, based upon the applicants' extensive experience in R & D of refractories and expertise on nanofibre/tube fabrication, the design and development of a novel and commercially-viable catalytic-growth technique is proposed that can create large quantities of in-situ carbon nanotubes in CCRBs, aiming to improve substantially their mechanical strength and erosion resistance (by >50%) and service durability (by >25%). This programme, in addition to its academic significance for in-situ nanostructure design, will undoubtbly benefit the refractory and steel industries by providing high quality refractory materials at low-cost.

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/F059728/1 01/10/2008 31/07/2010 £131,520
EP/F059728/2 Transfer EP/F059728/1 01/08/2010 31/12/2011 £72,224
 
Description Using in-situ experiments for the first time to investigate and understand the shock absorbing mechanism of this unique nanocomposites under high speed impact of up to 2 km/s.
Exploitation Route We will distribute our new findings via scientific publications, then through our RKT office to engage with proper industries to take this forward.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology