Document Type: Research Paper
Physics, Science, Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda
Physics Department, Faculty of Science Makerere University
The presence of quartz particle size (> 45 µm) has a deleterious effect on the properties of porcelain tiles. The effect is caused by many factors including microstructure (pore) evolution after sintering. This study aims at investigating the effect of quartz particle size (QPS) on sintering behavior and flexural strength of porcelain tiles made from raw materials in Uganda. The samples were pressed at 40 MPa, fired from 1150-1350 0C at a firing rate of 60 0C/min, and soaked for 1 hour. The sintering behavior was analyzed based on linear shrinkage, water absorption and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) micrographs. Phase identification was carried out using X-ray diffraction method. The optimal sintering temperature of 1300 0C was established, and firing to 1350 0C resulted in bloating as observed by SEM. Samples containing fine and medium QPS had a value of 0.47 % and 0.90 % water absorption respectively at optimum temperature. Pressed tiles with and those > water absorption are classified as Group BIa and BIb respectively (ISO 13006), suitable for use as floor or wall tiles. Also, the average flexural strength of 33, 18 and 8 MPa was exhibited by samples with fine, medium and coarse QPS respectively. The results indicate that only samples with fine and medium QPS satisfy the requirement MPa and > 12 MPa for floor and wall tiles respectively (ISO 13006).