Chemicals - Pharmaceuticals > Reaction control

The quality of the control of chemical reactions is crucial factor for the efficient production of chemical products. In this connection, for example, microreactors are used, the purpose of which is to initiate the reaction of the educts in a very small space so as to maximize the product yield.

In such processes, those equipment components in contact with the educts and products often have to meet high requirements in respect of their corrosion, thermal and thermomechanical resistance. In applications with extreme stresses, often only ceramic materials are able to achieve acceptable service lifetimes to ensure the economically profitable operation of such a reactor.

On account of its amphoteric character, dense-sintered Al2O3 ceramic with purity in excess of 99.5 %, sometimes with a special microstructure or also with added ZrO2 for enhanced corrosion resistance, is used in numerous applications. High-purity ZrO2-based oxide ceramic comes to the fore when components capable of withstanding high thermomechanical stresses are required. For processes with pronounced alkaline character, MgO or MgAl2O4 are suitable as dense-sintered, high-purity ceramic materials.

The corrosion resistance of non-oxide ceramic materials, like, for example, SiC, depends heavily on its chemical composition and the type of microstructure. Whereas SSiC generally exhibits high resistance in acids and lyes, SiSiC tends not to. This type of material does achieve high resistance in acids, but it is less resistant in an alkaline environment as the Si is dissolved out of the microstructure, leading to the break-up of the microstructure. Depending on the composition and the microstructure of Si3N4 ceramic, its behaviour in acid and alkaline environments differs considerably, although at least in acids it regularly exhibits high resistance to corrosion.

The oxide and non-oxide ceramic materials bring other technically important properties like high mechanical strength, stiffness, toughness, dimensional stability and density between around 3 and 6 g/cm³ as well as high wear resistance and edge stability. All the above-mentioned properties make these materials predestined to meet extreme requirements.

The selection of a specific material ultimately depends on requirements of the application. Therefore, the selection should be based on detailed and accurate knowledge of these requirements.

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Reaction control

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