Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Materials engineering, Ceramics

Publication Details

AIP Conference Proceedings


Abstract. Each manufacturing stage in the production of zinc oxide varistors from powder preparation to the final encapsulated device is important not only for the formation of the varistor component with optimum microstructure and thus electrical characteristics but also for avoiding the introduction of flaws and reduced yield. In this paper the authors describe and discuss the effect of multi-elemental oxide additives having been milled for different durations using a vibratory mill with cylindrical zirconia media on the powder characteristics of the subsequent processing stages. A commercial ZnO varistor formulation was used. The subsequent processing stages that are given particular attention include first spray drying and second milling. The characteristics include agglomerate size, powder density and elemental uniformity of the first spraydried powders, and particle size, specific surface area, zirconium concentration and pore size of the second milled powders. They were evaluated using laser diffraction, scanning electron microscopic, mercury porosimetry, Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) analysis. Some interesting correlations are observed between the powder properties and vibratory milling durations of the mixed metal oxide additives (MMOA).