Synthesis and effect of using silica fume particles on shear properties of basalt fibers-epoxy composites

POLYMER COMPOSITES(2024)

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Abstract
In this study, the effect of the addition of silica particles modified with silane agent on the mechanical properties of basalt fibers-epoxy composites were studied with the interlayer shear strength (ILSS) test. In the first stage, silica fume particles were synthesized using the sol-gel method and surface modified using tri mercaptopropyl trimethoxy silane agent. The results of the characterization showed that the synthesized powder is nanometric scale, amorphous and high purity. The surface-modified silica fume particles (0, 2, 4, 6 wt.%) were distributed inside the epoxy matrix using a mechanical stirrer and ultrasonic waves. The hand lay-up method was used to fabricate composite samples, then the effect of adding these particles on the mechanical properties of basalt fibers-epoxy composites under interlayer shear loads was studied. The results of the research indicated that the addition of silica fume particles has a significant effect on improving the mechanical properties of basalt fibers-epoxy composites, and the greatest improvement in mechanical properties was achieved by adding 4 wt.% of modified silica fume particles. In the case of composites without SF particles, the shear strength was 34 MPa, which was increased to 40 MPa by adding 4 wt.% of SF particles (about 20% improvement). On the other hand, results demonstrated that the optimal distribution of silica fume particles within the polymer matrix performs an impressive role in improving the mechanical response of composite samples.
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Key words
basalt fibers,mechanical properties,polymer matrix composite,silica fume,sol-gel
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