Comparative Analysis of Rigid PVC Foam Reinforced with Class C and Class F Fly Ash


Fly ash particles are usually spherical and based on their chemical composition; they are categorized into two classes: C and F. This study compares the microstructural, mechanical and thermal properties of extruded rigid PVC foam composites reinforced with class C and class F fly ash. The mechanical properties: such as tensile and flexural strength of composites containing class C fly ash were superior to the composites containing class F fly ash particles. Composites containing 6 phr class C fly ash showed a 24% improvement in the tensile strength in comparison to a mere 0.5% increase in composites reinforced with class F fly ash. Similarly, the addition of 6 phr of class F fly ash to the PVC foam matrix resulted in a 5.74% decrease in the flexural strength, while incorporating the same amount of class C fly ash led to a 95% increase in flexural strength. The impact strength of the composites decreased as the amount of either type of fly ash increased in the composites indicating that fly ash particles improve the rigidity of the PVC foam composites. No significant changes were observed in the thermal properties of the composites containing either type of fly ash particles. However, the thermo-mechanical properties measured by DMA indicated a steep increase in the viscoelastic properties of composites reinforced with class C flyash. The microstructural properties studied by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) confirmed that fly ash particles were mechanically interlocked in the PVC matrix with good interfacial interaction with the matrix. However, particle agglomeration and debonding was observed in composites reinforced with higher amounts of fly ash.

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Khoshnoud, P. , Gunashekar, S. , Jamel, M. and Abu-Zahra, N. (2014) Comparative Analysis of Rigid PVC Foam Reinforced with Class C and Class F Fly Ash. Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, 2, 554-565. doi: 10.4236/jmmce.2014.26057.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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