Title: Enhanced properties of fly ash-reinforced unsaturated polyester composites

Authors: S. Zahi

Addresses: Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Multimedia University, Jalan Ayer Keroh Lama, Bukit Beruang, 75450 Melaka, Malaysia

Abstract: Polyester, which is often fibre reinforced, can make a potent combination when reinforced with fly ash particles. In this study, both the as-received and surface-treated fly ash particles, ranging from 0% to 50% of weight, were used as fillers added to the unsaturated polyester utilising the route of curing. The mechanical properties of the composites were evaluated by conducting the hardness and tensile tests. The Charpy impact test was used to determine the amount of energy absorbed during fracture. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS) were used to identify the fly ash particles and to observe the fractographs of the composites. Through the density and SEM-EDS analyses, the type of solid fly ash was identified. For the surface-treated fly ash-reinforced polyester (TFAP), micro-hardness and tensile properties were improved with the addition of fly ash particles. Many improvements were also achieved in the as-received fly ash-reinforced (AFAP) composite. In terms of impact strength analysis, an excellent achievement was obtained in both composites. The fractograph, tribological and surface analyses confirmed the uniform distribution and consequently the effectiveness of the bonding.

Keywords: particle reinforcement; hardness; fractography; curing; fly ash; unsaturated polyester composites; bonding; hardness testing; tensile testing; impact strength; tribology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMATEI.2013.057151

International Journal of Materials Engineering Innovation, 2013 Vol.4 No.3/4, pp.241 - 257

Published online: 14 Oct 2013 *

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