A method for manufacturing low-density ceramic foam by applying the procedures used for expanded polystyrene is described. Alumina powder was incorporated into polystyrene at 50 vol% by high shear mixing and the palletized product was immersed in pentane. Low-density foam mouldings were then produced by single-stage steam treatment. These mouldings retained their shape during pyrolysis of the polystyrene. The foams were then sintered to give a porous ceramic with a void content of about 84%. This process offers an inexpensive route for the manufacture of moulded porous ceramics, for example in refractory applications, and is expected to be able to serve a wide range of high-performance ceramic powders.
KeywordsPolymer Foam Steam Pyrolysis Polystyrene
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