Water-assisted sintering of silica : Densification mechanisms and their possible implications in biomineralization

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

3 Scopus Citations
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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2945-2954
Number of pages10
Journal / PublicationJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Volume105
Issue number4
Online published3 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Abstract

Taking silica as an exemplary material system, we studied water-assisted densification behaviors of different crystallinities (quartz, glass, and vitreous silica). To avoid the complexity in data interpretation, we adopted a simple procedure similar to those used for pressing salt pellets for IR: compressing silica powders in a mold with pure water under ambient conditions. It is discovered that crystalline silica is compacted through liquid lubrication, while amorphous silica's densification behaviors contradict the widely regarded dissolution-reprecipitation mechanism. Another mechanism is thus proposed: stress-driven water incorporation into the solid structures produces hydrated silica of considerable plasticity for deformation and fusion. Inspired by this water-assisted mechanism, a more effective sintering method is developed via repetitive stressing/destressing treatments at room temperature, enabling dramatically boosted densities (e.g., over 90% with transparent appearance for silica glass) and enhanced mechanical performance. This generic strategy may apply to a wide range of materials. Furthermore, the hydration-enabled deformation/sintering mechanism proposed in this work offers fresh insights into the biomineralization puzzles, particularly those on how life accomplishes some of the most challenging tasks faced by humans in modern ceramic technology, for example, to fuse, mend or reshape the rigid brittle ceramic objects in aqueous environments under ambient conditions. This purely inorganic biomineralization mechanism may be particularly important for life at its early stage of evolution on earth.

Research Area(s)

  • biominerals, densification, hydration, plasticity, silica, sintering

Citation Format(s)

Water-assisted sintering of silica : Densification mechanisms and their possible implications in biomineralization. / Li, Hongkun; Zhong, Jing; Shen, Junda; Liu, Jiahua; Li, Bo; Tang, Xinxue; Pan, Jie; Xu, Zhengtao; Lu, Jian; Li, Yang Yang.

In: Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Vol. 105, No. 4, 04.2022, p. 2945-2954.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review