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© 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Permeable porous nanomaterials have extensive applications in engineering fields. Here, we report a novel system of porous calcium aluminate/phosphate (CaAl-CaP) nanocomposites fabricated by pore generator free processing. The CaAl rich samples have close micropores and are not permeable. Interestingly, the CaP rich composites have a unique three-dimensional nanosieve structure with interconnected nanopores and exhibit excellent liquid permeability and adsorbability. The pore size has a narrow distribution of 200-500 nm. The CaAl nanoplatelets in the CaP rich composite have a thickness of 202 nm, a diameter of 1600 nm and an aspect ratio of 8. The porosity is from 19% to 40%. The bending strength and compressive strength are 40.3 MPa and 195 MPa, respectively. The CaP rich nanocomposite is highly permeable so that a water droplet can completely penetrate in 10 seconds (1 mm thick disk). The blue dye can be desorbed in 45 min by ultrasonic vibration. Given the nanosieve porous structure, good permeability/adsorbability and high mechanical properties, the CaP rich nanocomposite has big potential in applications for chemical engineering, biomedical engineering and energy/environmental engineering.
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