2023 Volume 131 Issue 3 Pages 37-41
In the wet forming of ceramics, it is critical to control the cracking and deformation of the ceramic slurry during the drying process. This necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the changes in the internal structure of the slurry during the drying process using a high-resolution technique that enables direct and high speed observation. In this study, a combined system of optical coherence tomography (OCT) and thermogravimetry (TG) was developed for the operando observation of the evolution of the internal structure of a drying SiO2 slurry. In the early stages of drying, the OCT signal intensity changed significantly owing to the Brownian motion of the SiO2 particles in the slurry. The slurry was found to shrink as it dried and then lose its fluidity, and the ceramic particles were found to agglomerate from the surface. In the final stages of drying, localized dry regions developed in the vicinity of the slurry surface and expanded with drying. Crack formation was also observed in a part of the localized dry regions. Therefore, crack formation was attributed to inhomogeneous drying-induced shrinkage and stress generated in the drying object during the progression of localized drying. The novel operando observation technique using combined OCT-TG is successfully demonstrated to be an effective approach for understanding the internal structural changes in opaque slurries during their drying.