Extruded poly(ethylene-co-octene)/fly ash composites – value added products from an environmental pollutant
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Fly ash (FA) is a by-product generated during combustion of coal and has caused serious environmental concerns. In an effort to utilize FA beneficially, we developed composites from an ethylene-octene random copolymer (EOC) and unmodified as well as surface-modified class-F fly ash (MFA) by twin screw extrusion. Addition of 20 wt% of MFA to EOC improves its tensile strength by 150%; also, MFA improves stress at 100% and 300% strains (M100 and M300) of EOC. Thermal stability of EOC matrix is appreciably improved by the addition of either FA or MFA, while the melting behavior is not appreciably influenced by either. Fractography study reveals an improved adhesion between the EOC and MFA particles up to a filler loading of 20%, beyond which the adhesion between EOC and MFA is weakened causing a reduction in mechanical properties. The ‘flammable’ nature of EOC changes to ‘self extinguishing’ on addition of even 10 wt% of FA or MFA, as found out from LOI study.
KeywordsFly ash Surface modification Ethylene-octene copolymer Flammability Thermal analysis
The authors would like to thank Ms. U. Rashmi, Electron microscopy unit, NITK, for her assistance in scanning electron microscopy. Thanks are also due to Dow Elastomers, USA and Bhimrajka Impex, Mumbai, India for the supply of ENGAGETM as a gift for our research.
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