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JOURNAL OF M A T E R I A L S SCIENCE 25 (1990) 3 5 1 3 - 3 5 1 6

Tensile and fracture properties of epoxy resin

filled with flyash particles
V. K. S R I V A S T A V A , P. S. S H E M B E K A R
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University,
Varanasi- 221 005, India

The ultimate tensile strength, modulus of elasticity and fracture properties of epoxy resin filled
with flyash particles have been evaluated by the tensile test. The tensile strength of epoxy
resin filled with flyash particles decreases the fracture properties and the modulus of elasticity
increases with increasing percentage of flyash. It is advisable to use flyash when the void
formation cannot be controlled effectively.

1. I n t r o d u c t i o n higher temperature corresponding to a tough matrix

Epoxy resin is widely used as an electrical insulation state, some stress can obviously be transferred from
material. However, its fracture behaviour is brittle the matrix into the beads.
compared with metals, therefore it is necessary to
improve the fracture properties of epoxy resin by 1.2. M o d u l u s of elasticity
adding other materials. Low-cost particulate fillers are The elastic modulus has been the most widely studied
added to plastics in commercial production primarily and reviewed mechanical property of particulate com-
for reasons of economy and improvement in moulding posites. Using strain energy theorems, Paul [3] showed
characteristics. In practice, except in rather specialized that the modulus of a composite should lie within the
applications, the influence of the filler on mechanical range given by
properties is regarded as being of minor importance. EvEm/ [(1 - W)E m + WEv] ~ E c
The strength and toughness of a composite depends
upon the shape and size of the filler, the amount which ~< (1 - Vp)E m --}- WE m (2)
is compounded with the plastic, the bonding between whereEv, Em, Ec are the moduli of elasticity of par-
the filler and the plastic, the toughness of the plastic, ticulate phase, matrix phase and composite, respect-
and sometimes the toughness of the filler. Fillers affect ively, and Vp is the volume fraction of particulate
the tensile properties according to their packing dispersion.
characteristics, size and interfacial bonding. The When the modular ratio, m = Ev/E m is small, i.e.
maximum volumetric packing fraction of a filler 0.5 < m < 3, the separation between these bonding
reflects the size distribution and shapes of the par- solutions is small enough to obtain an estimate within
ticles. The space between the particles are assumed to 10% of the true modulus, providing that nei~er voids
be filled with matrix and no voids or air bubbles are nor cracks are present. For composites o f both high
present. Under these conditions, for a given system, and low modular ratio, i.e. m > 3, the bonding solu-
the matrix volume is at a minimum and acts as indi- tions are too widely separated to obtain estimates of
vidiual segments or pockets to support a tensile load Ec. Approximate solutions by Kerner [4], Ishai [5] and
[1]. others have been used to compare the predicted behav-
iour with experimental data. Ishai's relation is [5]
1.1. Tensile s t r e n g t h
E C --= E m [1 + V v / [ m / ( m - 1 ) ] - Vp1/3 ] (3)
The simplest model for describing the tensile strength
of bead-filled composites regards the matrix as being Ishai and Cohen [6] reported that Ec of an epoxy-sand
the only stress bearing component composite system (m ~- 36) was in a good agreement
O'p = O'm(1 -- J"Vf2/3) (1) with Ishai's solution for Vv < 0.30 and lay between
Ishai's and Paul's solution for Vv > 0.30. The effect of
where am is the tensile strength of the matrix and Vf particles size has also been investigated. Radford [7]
the filler volume fraction. The value o f f depends on reported that Ec is independent of particle size for an
the details of the model. epoxy-AlzO3 and 3 HzO system in which different
Ramsteiner and Theysohn [2] have shown for a composites were fabricated with different particle size
glass bead-filled polypropylene system that the tensile dispersions.
strength, at higher temperature (about 70~ is
independent of filler concentration, i.e. the model is 1.3. Fracture e n e r g y
valid at lower temperature where the matrix is brittle The fracture surface energies of epoxide and polyester
and the beads are not stress bearing. However, at a resin and their resistance to crack propagation are
0022-2461/90 $03.00 + .12 9 1990 Chapman and Hall Ltd. 3513
~ 10 ~5R

T j 1

aO --

1 I. 50
u- " 64 sO-

t.. L=75mm ~1 t= 4mm

Figure 1 (a) Geometry of Tensile test specimen. (b) Geometry of fracture specimen, a is the crack length, L length, t thickness and w width.

relatively low. If a particulate filler is added to these been studied and the results reported here are very
brittle resins, the particles inhibit crack growth. As the promising.
volume fraction of filler is varied, the fracture energy
increases until at some critical volume fraction it 2. Experimentation
begins to decrease again. Broutman and Sahu [8] used 2.1. Flyash
glass beads of average diameter 30 #m in an epoxide The flyash collected by the mechanical precipitator in
resin to show such a variation. Hammond and Quayle the Obra Thermal Power Station, Mirzapur, India,
[9] studied glass beads of two different average sizes in was used. It was sieved to obtain flyash mesh size
a polyester resin. Lange and Radford [10] showed the (105#m). Generally, flyash contains the different
effect of particle size on the maximum toughness using chemical constituents i.e. silicon oxide, aluminium
alumina trihydrate in epoxide. Broutman and Sahu [8] oxide, calcium oxide, iron oxide and magnesium
have also reported that fracture energy was influenced oxide. The density of flyash is 3.385 gcm -3.
by the degree of interfacial bonding between par-
ticulate phase and matrix. Lange [11] has reported the 2.2. Epoxy resin
fracture energy behaviour of the silicon nitride-silicon Epoxy resin contains the epoxide group, which is a
carbide composite system. For brittle particles the three-membered oxide ring. The resin can be regarded
Lange model explains the initial increase in fracture as a compound which contains, on average, more than
energy with increasing volume fraction.
In the present research program, the tensile and
fracture properties of flyash-filled epoxy resin have

70 ~'E 4.2

'E 60
LU /

m /J/

-~ 40
~0 t / "~
2.6 - ""

4 8 12 16 20 O0 4 8 12 16 20
Flyash (vol %) Flyosh (vo[ ~
Figure 2 Variation of tensile strength of flyash-filled particulate Figure 3 Variation of modulus of elasticity of flyash-fil]ed par-
composite with percentage of flyash by volume. The full curve is ticulate composite with percentage of flyash by volume. ( Ishai
arm = am(1 -- 1.3Vr~ relation, - - - Cohen-Ishai relation, 9 experimental value).