Document Type : Research Article
Ceramic Research and Production Department, Projects Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu, NIGERIA
Department of Pure and Industrial Ceramic Research and Production Department, Projects Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu, NIGERIA
Engineering Research Development and Production Department, Project Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu, NIGERIA
The exploration of indigenous raw materials that are pure and simple to process for ceramics is a scalable option for locally-made ceramics products. This study involves the characterization of unexplored silica-rich sand deposits at Iva-pottery, Enugu North local government area in Enugu state Nigeria for their ceramic industrial potential. The physicochemical properties of Iva-pottery silica-rich sand were determined. The crystalline phase components and elemental compositions of the oxide were investigated with an X-ray diffractometer and an X-ray fluorescence spectrophotometer respectively. The silica was used in ceramics composition as a filler and glaze formulation as glass former. The results obtained showed mainly a siliceous crystalline phase with a minor amorphous phase and contains 74.55% SiO2, 13.02% Al2O3, and 0.55% Fe. The grain size in the raw form is in the range of 0.18 mm to 0.075 mm (100 mesh to + 200 mesh range) without involving ceramic raw materials processing equipment such as a ball mill as well as a high percentage of alumina (13.02) contents as compared to conventional silica with alumina 0.02% to 0.5% range. The high alumina that forms mullite at sintering temperature brings about a low thermal coefficient and hence, suitable chemical stability and resistance to thermal shock. These rare qualities make the Iva-pottery silica-rich sand an emergent material suitable for glaze formulation and filler in ceramic bodies. Thus, it is recommended that the Iva-pottery silica-rich sand deposits in their raw form be exploited for the formulation of varied glaze temperature ranges and also for the refractory industry. Iva-pottery silica-rich deposits in their raw form, do not meet the requirements of high tech- ceramics applications.