Magnesium Oxide Ceramic Refractory

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As a ceramic refractory, magnesium oxide is used in glazes to lower glass melting temperatures. It is also useful for lowering the expansion of frits, thus improving the dimensional stability and durability of glazes. It is especially valuable for eliminating crazing by replacing alkalis such as barium and calcium with low expansion oxides, such as magnesium oxide (MgO).

The chemical is produced from magnesia in a series of processes: magnesia is mined, slaked, filtered and calcined to produce a wide range of MgO reactivity grades. The reactivity grade depends on the degree of heat exposure during the calcining process. The highest temperature produces a dead-burned magnesia (periclase); the lowest temperature yields a caustic-calcined or light-burned magnesia.

Other processes are used to improve the performance of magnesia in electrical steel furnace applications. These include adding metal nitrides to the magnesia to control hydration at high temperatures and reducing the dew point to reduce corrosion of the base metal. Other coating additives have been added to improve the adherence of the magnesia to the silicon steel during the high temperature anneal.

Safeopedia Explains Magnesium Oxide

When handled improperly, magnesium oxide may release toxic fumes. This is a health hazard and requires special handling and disposal techniques. When used in a kiln, a respirator must be worn to protect the user against hazardous gases. For this reason, it is highly recommended that users read the label of the product carefully. In addition, the use of an air-purifying mask is recommended.