Microscopy: Study of clinker formation in power plant processes

At power plant processes the clinker formation within the scope of the flue gas line occurs at times, especially in the cyclones for fly ash separation. Such deposits have a disturbing effect on normal operation and therefore are object of further investigation.

LAOP had the ability to analyze a clinker sample with optical visible layering. At it, an uncoated polished sample was examined with SEM by low vacuum conditions. Looking at the overview picture of the backscatter electron image, a layering can be observed as well. However, a line scan perpendicular to layering didn’t show any significant differences in element composition. Therefore the layering seems to be a result of the variation of compact and less compact bonding of the single particles.

Detailed pictures show that the macroscopic predominantly homogeneous ground mass is composed of many particles with several densities (different gray scales). The main part of those particles (phases) is smaller than 1 µm and accordingly a perfect object of investigation for electron microscopy. A further assignment will be the detailed qualification of presented phases, a micro chemical description and the derivation of forming conditions.

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