Graphite and PMMA as pore formers for thermoplastic extrusion of porous 3Y-TZP oxygen transport membrane supports
A gas permeable porous support is a crucial part of an asymmetric oxygen transport membrane (OTM). Here, we develop feedstocks for thermoplastic extrusion of tubular, porous 3Y-TZP (partially stabilized zirconia polycrystals, (Y2O3)(0.03)(ZrO2 (0.97))) ceramics,, using graphite and/or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) as pore formers. The influence of pore former content and type, 3Y-TZP particle size and support sintering temperature on the microstructure, porosity and gas permeability were studied. Using at least 40 vol% pore former, consisting of graphite and PMMA in the volume ratio 2:1, tubes with gas permeability exceeding the target of 10(-14) m(2) are obtained. In the temperature range 1250-1400(circle)C the support gas permeability is insensitive to the sintering temperature, and the feedstocks shrink more than 15% during sintering, making them ideal for co sintering with functional OTM layers. This demonstrates the suitability of thermoplastic extrusion for fabrication of porous 3Y-TZP OTM supports, or for other technologies requiring porous ceramics. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.