Porcelain insulator Materials and Methods

Porcelain insulator Materials and Methods will be introduced through Chemical and Physical Analysis, Mould Processing, Insulator Production, and so on. The detailed information is shown in the following.

Insulator Production

Porcelain insulator Materials and Methods:
Chemical and Physical Analysis:

The chemical characterization of kaolin, ball clay, quartz and feldspar were carried out. Kaolin which is the major constituent of the porcelain formulation was sourced from Ijapo, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. The material was first soaked in water for three days to remove some deleterious materials followed by sun drying. The dried material was milled by a milling machine and then screened through a mesh of 200 μm. The chemical composition of the processed clay was determined by Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) (Norton, 1980; Olupot, 2006). Ball clay was the raw material used as a binder in the porcelain formulation. It was sourced from Ise, Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria.

The clay was plunged (mixed) with water to form a thin suspension and passed through a fine screen to remove the coarse materials. The suspension was allowed to stand until the fine grit settles out, and the suspended clay was then sieved through a mesh of 200 μm and dried to remove water. The dried clay was crushed and milled with milling machine. Quartz and feldspar were both sourced from Ogun State. The two raw materials were ground separately and sieved through a mesh of 200 m and dried to remove water. The chemical composition of the processed quartz and feldspar was determined by Atomic. Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) and presented as shown in the Table 1. The physical properties of the clay materials, namely, kaolin and ball clay was also carried out to determine plasticity, moisture content, linear shrinkage among others.

Mould Processing:
Plaster of Paris (POP) was used to make the mould for casting the electrical insulator. The powdered POP was mixed with water at a ratio 2 to 1 by weight. The setting time was 15 minutes. The original model of porcelain insulator was covered with a separator (a bar soap dissolved in hot water was used as the separator) and laid half way in a plastic clay slab enclosed with wooden barricade-like box. Rubber stripe was used to hold the wooden barricade together. All form of under cut was blocked for easy removal at the end of casting process. The moist POP was poured on the model embedded half way in a clay slab and allowed to set (Ibrahim, 2000). After the POP had become solid the mould was trimmed by scraping, and key holes were put in place without yet removing the model. The other half of the mould was made by repeating the procedure earlier used. The model was then removed from the POP and the produced mould was ready for use.

Insulator Production:
Amongst several samples of porcelain insulators formulated from kaolin, ball clay, feldspar and quartz, five have been selected for investigation whose proportion are indicated as shown in Table 2. The raw materials were wet milled separately. Kaolin, ball clay, feldspar and quartz were sieved through 200 m

The resultant materials were dried and mixed. The mixture was wet milled for 3hours (each composition was mixed with 1litre of water and 1 capful of sodium silicate which was used as deflocculant in the jar mill, pebbles were added to facilitate the milling process) to form a uniform mix.

The mixture was made to pass through a magnetic sieve of 200 m to remove the iron content before it was cast into the mould. Varying proportion of Kaolin and Feldspar were used in the mixtures while ball clay and quartz were kept constant. Each constituent samples of formulated porcelain body were cast, bisque fired from 0 to 9000C for 6 hours until it became impervious, and finally glazed by firing for 8 hours.

Constituent percentage composition of porcelain insulators


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