Promoting spinel formation and growth for preparation of refractory materials from ferronickel slag

Foquan Gu, Zhiwei Peng, Yuanbo Zhang, Huimin Tang, Weiguang Tian, Joonho Lee, Mingjun Rao, Guanghui Li, Tao Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The study provides a method for improving the quality of the refractory material prepared from ferronickel slag by promoting the spinel formation and growth in the slag which was sintered with sintered magnesia and chromium oxide in a broad sintering temperature range from 1200°C to 1500°C. According to the thermodynamic analysis, except for forsterite due to the addition of sintered magnesia, a number of high-melting point spinel phases can also be formed in the presence of chromium oxide and this trend becomes more apparent with increasing sintering temperature, along with declined presence of low-melting point clinopyroxene, mainly enstatite. This expectation was verified by conversion of a part of the original phase of ferronickel slag, olivine, to two main spinel phases, including magnesium aluminate spinel and donathite which was produced by the replacement of nontoxic Cr3+ ions with Fe3+ ions in the octahedral vacancies of magnesium chromate spinel. The formation and growth of these spinel phases were promoted by elevating temperature from 1200°C to 1500°C, which accelerated the transition of initially generated enstatite to a glassy phase, in favor of densification. The formation and growth of spinel during sintering contributed to high refractoriness and compressive strength of the resulting refractory materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1701-1712
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 1


  • densification
  • ferronickel slag
  • refractory materials
  • sintering temperature
  • spinel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Marketing
  • Materials Chemistry


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