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I Fundamentals and Principles

Particulate Fillers, Selection, and Use in Polymer Composites

1

Christopher DeArmitt and Roger Rothon

Contents

Definition......................................................................................... 4

Introduction....................................................................................... 4

The Main Important Characteristics of Particulate Fillers....................................... 6

Cost............................................................................................ 6

Chemical Composition........................................................................ 7

Surface Chemistry............................................................................. 7

Specific Gravity (Density).................................................................... 8

Hardness....................................................................................... 9

Morphology (Particle Size and Shape)....................................................... 9

Particle Size................................................................................... 10

Specific Surface Area (SSA).................................................................. 11

Particle Shape................................................................................. 12

Thermal Properties............................................................................ 15

Specific Heat.................................................................................. 15

Thermal Conductivity and Diffusivity........................................................ 16

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion............................................................ 16

Thermal Stability.............................................................................. 16

Electrical Properties........................................................................... 17

Optical Properties............................................................................. 18

Use of Particulate Fillers in Polymer Composites............................................... 19

Thermoplastics.................................................................................... 19

Elastomers........................................................................................ 23

Thermosets........................................................................................ 24

Future Directions................................................................................. 25

Cross-References................................................................................. 26

References........................................................................................ 26

C. DeArmitt

Phantom Plastics LLC, Terrace Park, OH, USA e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

R. Rothon (*)

Rothon Consultants and Manchester Metropolitan University, Guilden Sutton, Chester, UK e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

R. Rothon (ed.), Fillers for Polymer Applications, Polymers and Polymeric Composites: A Reference Series, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-28117-9_1

Abstract

Fillers have been incorporated into all polymer types, thermoplastics, elastomers, and thermosets, from the very beginning, and it is probably true to say that the development of many polymers would not have been possible without them. They continue to play a vital role today.

One of the original purposes was simply to reduce cost, but this is less important today, as polymers have become less expensive and more of a commodity. Fillers have distinctly different properties to polymers, and by their judicious selection one can produce composite materials with enhanced properties for a given use. It is important to recognize that while benefitting some properties, a filler may be detrimental to others and considerable skill is needed to arrive at the best compromise for any application.

The main reasons for using particulate fillers today vary with the polymer type but include improved processing, increased stiffness, heat distortion temperature and creep resistance, better abrasion and tear resistance, and flame retardancy.

Key properties include cost, specific gravity (density), hardness, purity, particle size and shape, surface chemistry, and thermal stability. Optical, thermal, and electrical properties can also be critical in some applications.

Keywords

Filler • Mineral • Polymer • Thermoplastic • Thermoset • Elastomer • Particle size • Particle shape • Composite

 
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