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Studying and Utilizing Traditional Technologies: Microstructure and Formation Mechanism of ε‑Fe2O3 on Traditional Japanese Bizen Stoneware

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journal contribution
posted on 05.08.2021, 12:34 by Yoshihiro Kusano, Hiroyuki Nakata, Zeliang Peng, Ryosuke S. S. Maki, Tomoyuki Ogawa, Minoru Fukuhara
Traditional Japanese Bizen stoneware is produced by firing a specific type of green clay in a wood-fired kiln at approximately 1200 °C. During this process, single crystalline branched dendrite-like particles of Al-substituted ε-Fe2O3 (ε-Fe1.7Al0.3O3) with widths and lengths of approximately 15 and 30 μm, respectively, are formed on the surface of the ceramic. Composite particles consisting of ε-Fe2O3 epitaxially connected to spinel structure compounds [comprising the Fe-substituted spinel (Mg,Fe)­(Al,Fe)2O4 and γ-Fe2O3)] with lengths of approximately 3 μm are also generated. The present work clarified the crystallographic relationship between ε-Fe2O3 and the spinel structure compounds. In addition, brown-colored samples similar to Bizen pottery and with surface Al-substituted ε-Fe2O3 particles were prepared by heating clay with K2CO3 under a 10 vol % CO gas and 90 vol % Ar gas mixture using an electric furnace instead of a firewood kiln. Hence, a traditional method was adapted to achieve the industrial production of ε-Fe2O3 crystals.