A threshold heating rate for single-stage heat treatments in glass-ceramics containing seed formers

The development of glass-ceramic materials is often achieved using an elementary microstructural strategy that splits the tasks of seed formation and functionality between two types of crystals. This strategy requires customized time-temperature ceramization protocols, which have been so far implemented using empirical parameters. Here, a more fundamental approach is proposed: the extent of overlap Oe between seed formation and volume crystallization is evaluated by calorimetric and dilatometric measurements, targeting the computation of a threshold heating rate qt for effective single-stage heat treatments. The applicability of this novel parameter is tested in TiO2-doped lithium magnesium aluminosilicate glass-ceramics, whose seed formation stage is thoroughly characterized by Raman spectroscopy and STEM. High-temperature X-ray diffraction demonstrates that insufficient seeding results in potentially weaker performances of the final products, due to large sizes and silica deficiency of the functional quartz solid solution crystals.

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