HIGHLY CONCENTRATED CERAMIC BINDING SUSPENSIONS (HCBS)
AND CERAMIC CASTABLES.
STAGES IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Yu. E. Pivinskii
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 2, pp. 28 – 39, February, 2003.
Precisely 25 years ago, in the journal Ogneupory (Febru
ary, 1978), our paper “Fundamentals of ceramic castable
technology” was published . Earlier, the principles out
lined in that paper were reported and discussed at All-Union
conferences held in 1976 in Sverdlovsk and Leningrad.
Dating back to 1968, the first data on highly concentrated
binding suspensions based on quartz glass were reported in
[2, 3]. The technology of ceramic castables is precisely based
on the use of ceramic binding suspensions. In 1969 , a
method for preparation of refractory castables of granular
structure using ceramic binding suspensions was reported.
A survey of world trends in the development, production,
and application of new refractory materials [5 – 8] shows
that, viewed in this light, the papers [1 – 4] were pioneering
in the field. In particular, these papers provided data, previ-
ously unreported, on the preparation of ultra-low-cement and
zero-cement refractory castables, that is, refractory materials
that at present have a potential for wide applications [6, 7]. In
this paper, we discuss, in a historical aspect, priorities and
achievements in the field of materials based on highly con
centrated ceramic binding suspensions (HCBS).
QUARTZ CERAMIC TECHNOLOGY —
A CORNERSTONE IN THE DEVELOPMENT
OF HCBS AND CERAMIC CASTABLES
Our pioneering works on ceramic materials based on
quartz glass were started in 1965 in the city of Obninsk
(Moscow Region), in a modest research laboratory known at
present as the State Science Center of the Russian Federa
tion, Tekhnologiya Federal State Unitary Enterprise Re
search and Production Association (Russian abbreviation
FGUP NPO “Tekhnologiya”) [2 – 4, 9 – 12]; those works
have laid the groundwork for the development of HCBS,
nonfired ceramics, and refractory castables.
In those years, researchers in the field of technical ce
ramics and refractories faced a formidable challenge — de
velopment of ceramic fairings for missiles of different
classes [13 – 16]. In distinction from the early fiber glass
fairings that were designed for missile velocities of up to two
Mach numbers, fairings were required for velocities reaching
ten Mach numbers.
Upon firing such a missile, the missile’s
fairing, because of the aerodynamic drag, develops within
2 – 5 sec a temperature exceeding 1500°C; occasionally, the
temperature may be as high as 2500°C [13, 14]. The fairings,
along with their superior heat-insulating and heat-resistant
properties, must comply with requirements placed on the me-
chanical strength, radio transparency, and high precision of
geometrical dimensions [15, 16]. An additional complication
was the size of fairings (reaching1–2minheight).
Among all known inorganic materials, quartz glass obvi-
ously met those requirements best. However, the traditional
technology of component shaping was unsuitable because of
the exceptionally high viscosity of quartz glass even at tem-
peratures as high as 1800 – 2000°C. To overcome this tech
nical difficulty, a ceramic technology was suggested as an al
ternative. It was thought that quartz glass, treated by this
technology, will retain all its valuable properties.
To shape components, a slip casting method was used by
which aqueous suspensions were cast into plaster molds fol
lowed by drying and sintering. For these ceramic materials,
the term “quartz ceramic” was coined in , which later be
came widely accepted . Traditional technologies for ob
taining analogous materials were reviewed in ; new pro
cesses were developed that allowed a marked improvement
of the properties of quartz ceramics. The new technology
was primarily responsible for the development of an HCBS
technology that used high concentrations of wet-ground sus
pensions, elevated temperatures, limiting liquefaction, and
In 1967 (18 July, Obninsk), at an All-Union conference
on heat-resistant inorganic materials, in our communication
“Density and strength of quartz-glass slip castings” we re
ported data (later published in [2, 3]) that at that time seemed
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 44, No. 3, 2003
1083-4877/03/4403-0152$25.00 © 2003 Plenum Publishing Corporation
Kerambet Research and Production Association Joint-Stock Co.,
Mach number is defined as the ratio of the speed of a missile to
the speed of sound.