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High Temperature Material Processes: An International Quarterly of High-Technology Plasma Processes
ESCI SJR: 0.176 SNIP: 0.48 CiteScore™: 1.3

ISSN Print: 1093-3611
ISSN Online: 1940-4360

High Temperature Material Processes: An International Quarterly of High-Technology Plasma Processes

DOI: 10.1615/HighTempMatProc.v14.i3.30
pages 233-244

SMELTING OF NIOBIUM PENTOXIDE IN A TRANSFERRED ARC ARGON PLASMA AND CHARACTERIZATION OF THE SMELTED PRODUCT

Bijan B. Nayak
Institute ofMinerals andMaterials Technology, Bhubaneswar-751013, India
S. Pradhan
Institute for Plasma Research, Gandhinagar-382428, India

ABSTRACT

Smelting of Nb2O5 was carried out in a dc extended arc argon plasma using carbon as the reductant. Plasma was produced in a reactor operating in transferred arc configuration (normal polarity mode). The plasma smelted product was analysed and found to contain up to 97.5% Nb with 86% (all by wt.) metal recovery. Characterization of the smelted product by XRD shows that majority of reflections are due to Nb metal and carbon occurs in the form of carbide. One minor reflection due to Nb2O5 was recorded which is attributed to the unreacted oxide. Wavelength dispersive spectra of x-ray confirmed the carbon presence in the smelted product. Micro Raman spectroscopy study makes a comparison between the spectra due to smelted product and that of high pure superconductor grade Nb in order to identify presence of any carbide and/or oxide in the metal. Optical and scanning electron microscope studies reveal the typical surface morphologies of the plasma smelted Nb. Plasma smelted Nb has a good scope for use as a starting material towards preparation of high pure Nb for application in superconductors and electronic capacitors . This can be achieved by suitable removal of carbon followed by electron beam melting of themetal.


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