Development of products which can be produced from acountry's natural resources is very important as far as theindustrialization of a nation and saving foreign exchange isconcerned. Presently, industries in Uganda and the other statesin the Lake Victoria region import allrefractory-related-consumables, as the demand cannot be metlocally. Based on the abundance of ceramic raw materials forhigh temperature applications in the region and the demand forrefractories by industries it is pertinent to develop andmanufacture firebricks by exploiting the locally available rawmaterials.
This thesis thus, concerns the characterisation of ceramicraw mineral powders from in the Lake Victoria region, moreparticularly, Uganda, with the aim of developing firebrickrefractories from the minerals. Two main deposits of kaolin anda fireclay deposit, located in the Lake Victoria Region,Uganda, were investigated to assess their potential in themanufacture of refractory bricks. Raw- and processed samplepowders were investigated by means of x-ray diffraction (XRD),thermal analysis (DTA-TG) and Scanning Electron Microscopy(SEM). In addition, the chemical composition, particle sizedistribution, density, and surface area of the powders weredetermined.
A general production process scheme for manufacture offirebricks starting with raw powder minerals (Mutaka kaolin andMukono ball clay) was used to make six groups of samplefirebrick. Experimental results from the characterization offormulated sample bricks indeed reveal the viability ofmanufacturing firebricks from the raw minerals.Characterization of the sample bricks has been done fordetermination of physical and mechanical properties; density,shrinkage, porosity, water absorption, and phaseidentification. Formation of mullite, which is a principalcompound for aluminous refractories, is evidenced in thepowders with DTA tests and for the fired samples with XRD; thefired samples are dominated by mullite peaks.
Keywords: kaolin; clay; powders characterization; ceramics;mullite; Lake Victoria region;
Stockholm: Materialvetenskap , 2003. , iii, 21 s. p.