Physicochemical characterization of the filler–matrix interface in elastomer-encapsulated fly ash/polyester particulate composites



An attempt was made to improve the toughness of fly ash (FA)/general-purpose unsaturated polyester resin (GPR) composites. Elastomer [styrene–butadiene rubber (SBR) or acrylic copolymer (AC)]-encapsulated fillers (FA or CaCO3) were made through the coagulation of the emulsified elastomer containing the filler with constant stirring. The elastomer-encapsulated fillers were added to GPR at concentrations as high as 15 wt % to make FA/SBR or AC/GPR composites. The mechanical properties (i.e., the tensile strength, tensile modulus, tensile elongation, flexural strength, flexural modulus, impact strength, and hardness) of FA/GPR, FA/SBR/GPR, and FA/AC/GPR composites were studied. The tensile-fractured surfaces of all the composites were studied with scanning electron microscopy. The thermal stability was studied with thermogravimetric analysis. An analysis of the results indicate that this modification technique is rather easy and more economical than the chemical modification of filler surfaces with functional silane coupling agents. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 97: 171–184, 2005