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From Nishida et al (1973). , 1973, p . 34; Lange, 1973, p . 518). 14 provides information on this point. The advantage of using the a form may lie in the activated state accompanying the transformation from the a to the β form in sintering, or in the long columnar crystal structure of the sintered body when the a form is used. Some objections to those opinions remain. A t present, however, the proportion of the α-form crystal in a p o w d e r , called the α-ratio, is a significant factor in evaluating the charac teristics of these powders.
4 present a comparison of the characteristics of these major ceramic materials. A. OXIDES 1. Alumina (Al 0 ) 2 3 A l u m i n a is the most widely used of the synthetic raw materials for cera mics. T h e production technology for this material and research and de velopment in the alumina ceramics field have accumulated and borne-fruit over many years. In addition, the cost of the material and its reliable supply give alumina, in its overall value as a material, a leading position which it is unlikely to lose soon.
Therefore, control of impurities and of particle structure is critical in the Bayer process. In addition, factors such as pyrolysis and firing conditions are strictly controlled. T h e primary factors in the nature of the resulting ceramics, the particle diameter, grain-size distribution, and form of the primary and secondary particles of α - Α 1 0 and of the impurities, are decided. Finally, pulverizing and parti cle rectification processes are performed as needed. 4 graphs the relationship between the impurity level ( N a 0 , by percentage) and the average diameter of the primary particles for several commercially available aluminas.