A Novel Approach on Reusing Silicon Wafer Kerf Particle as Potential Filler Material in Polymer Composite


In solar panel production stage, it is unavoidable to neglect the huge amount of solar grade silicon particles displaced during the slicing of silicon ingot operation. A subject of the present study is to reuse the solar-grade silicon particles as a filler to enhance the mechanical properties of the epoxy-glass fiber polymer composite. Polymer composite was fabricated using a hand-layup method with constant hydraulic pressure by varying filler weight percentages of 0, 1, 3, 5, and 10 %. Particle size and mineralogical features of the recovered silicon particle were characterized by particle size analyser and X-ray diffraction analysis. A positive effect on the mechanical properties of the prepared composites is seen by the recovered silicon particle addition. Maximum tensile strength of 284 MPa has been achieved for the < 10 µm particle with a 5 % weight of silicon filler loaded composite. Both the flexural strength and the hardness of the composites were improved linearly by the addition of the filler material. The dielectric constant is considerably improved by incorporating recovered silicon filler into the epoxy polymer composite. There is a comparatively higher dielectric constant value of 5.96 in a fine silicon particle-filled composite than in a coarse silicon particle-filled composite of 4.8. The sustainable use of silicon wafer cutting particles in polymer composites would mitigate the problems of pollution and minimise the cost of silicon wafer waste disposal as well. This brings up the solution to recycling of silicon wafer cutting waste for a sustainable environment.

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K.M. Nambiraj- Conceptualization, Investigation, Writing- Review & Editing, K. Rajkumar- Resources, Supervision, & Validation, P. Sabarinathan- Data acquisition, Visualization, & Project administration.

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Correspondence to K. Rajkumar.

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Nambiraj, K.M., Rajkumar, K. & Sabarinathan, P. A Novel Approach on Reusing Silicon Wafer Kerf Particle as Potential Filler Material in Polymer Composite. Silicon (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12633-021-00951-6

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  • Silicon
  • Kerf slurry waste
  • Recovery
  • Polymer composite
  • Strength
  • Dielectric constant