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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2009, Article ID 601850, 9 pages
Research Article

Fabrication of Highly Porous Alumina-Based Ceramics with Connected Spaces by Employing PMMA Microspheres as a Template

1Graduate School of Science and Technology, Nagasaki University, 1-14 Bunkyo-machi, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan
2Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Nagasaki University, 1-14 Bunkyo-machi, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan

Received 18 May 2009; Revised 29 July 2009; Accepted 25 November 2009

Academic Editor: Krystyn J. Van Vliet

Copyright © 2009 Kazutaka Kamitani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Highly porous alumina-based ceramics were fabricated by a slip casting method by employing polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microspheres having different diameters as a template and MgO or SiC powder as a sintering aid and subsequent calcination at 1 6 0 0 C . Spherical pores reflecting the morphology of the PMMA microspheres could be fabricated. In addition, the formation of much smaller connected space among the pores was observed on the pore's inner walls of all ceramics. In this method, porous structure, for example, pore diameter, shape (open or closed), and mechanical properties, could be controlled by varying the particle size of PMMA microspheres and its concentration in alumina-based slurries. Highly porous and mechanically strong alumina-based ceramics having an open porosity of 62%, a connected space size of 1.3  𝜇 m, and a compressive strength of 147.6 MPa could be fabricated by employing PMMA microspheres with a mean particle size of 22.6  𝜇 m and an appropriate amount of SiC.