As we all know, the main raw material of glass is silica, namely quartz, the main raw material of ceramics is kaolin. Coincidentally, the main component of tungsten tailings is also silicon, and may be rich in other kaolin constituents.
In the eyes of scientists and technicians, most of the composition of tungsten tailings and glass ceramic raw materials are similar, do not need too complicated to deal with, can be processed into glass ceramic.
Some scholars have prepared glass ceramics by using tungsten tailings after magnetic separation to remove iron, by changing the temperature system in sintering process, the glass ceramics with better properties were obtained, and the crystallization kinetics of glass-ceramic during sintering was further explored.
The crystallization temperature is adjusted between 950~1100 °C, the results show that the main crystalline phases of glass ceramics are calcium feldspar and iron pyroxene. The crystalline phase number and grain size of glass ceramics increase with the increase of crystallization temperature. The crystal morphology is distributed from small to flaky. When the crystal phase is reheated again and the crystallization temperature is 1100 °C, a part of iron and calcium pyroxene changes into gehlenite. Based on the kinetic analysis of crystal growth, it is concluded that the crystalline structure of tungsten tailings glass ceramics is the best with the highest crystallization temperature of 1050 °C, which has the potential as a building material.
Moreover, with the development of tailings such as tungsten, iron, copper and so on, the cost of glass ceramics is greatly reduced. For two simple examples, our Corning glass for cell phone screens is wearable and scratch resistant and can withstand a collision resistance, because it's glass ceramics; Ceramic tile used for decoration, which is more wear-resistant and brighter than traditional glazed tiles, and also uses glass ceramics in glaze. The use of tailings benefits millions of households, and early Corning glass was used only for high-end mobile phones, but it is now standard for all smart phones; Early ceramic tiles cost one hundred or two hundred yuan each, and many prices have now been reduced by half.
Glass ceramics made tungsten tailings realize the magnificent turn from waste to important raw materials. It not only brings convenience to people's life, but also improves environmental pollution problems. In the 2010 long-range plan, the state has planned to focus on the development and environmental protection governance of glass ceramics as a national strategy for comprehensive utilization.
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