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dc.contributor.advisorRadford, Donald W.
dc.contributor.authorRahman, AKM Samsur
dc.contributor.committeememberSampath, Walajabad S.
dc.contributor.committeememberHolland, Troy B.
dc.contributor.committeememberHeyliger, Paul
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-28T14:35:44Z
dc.date.available2015-08-28T14:35:44Z
dc.date.issued2015
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references.
dc.description2015 Summer.
dc.description.abstractGeopolymers have the potential to cross the process performance gap between polymer matrix and ceramic matrix composites (CMC), enabling high temperature capable composites that are manufactured at relatively low temperatures. Unfortunately, the inherently low toughness of these geopolymers limits the performance of the resulting fiber reinforced geopolymer matrix composites. Toughness improvements in composites can be addressed through the adjustments in the fiber/matrix interfacial strength and through the improvements in the inherent toughness of the constituent materials. This study investigates the potential to improve the inherent toughness of the geopolymer matrix material through the addition of nanofillers, by considering physical dimensions, mechanical properties, reinforcing capability and interfacial bond strength effects. A process optimization study was first undertaken to develop the ability to produce consistent, neat geopolymer samples, a critical precursor to producing nano-filled geopolymer for toughness evaluation. After that, single edge notched bend beam fracture toughness and un-notched beam flexural strength were evaluated for silicon carbide, alumina and carbon nanofillers reinforced geopolymer samples treated at various temperatures in reactive and inert environments. Toughness results of silicon carbide and carbon nanofillers reinforced geopolymers suggested that with the improved baseline properties, high aspect ratio nanofillers with high interfacial bond strength are the most capable in further improving the toughness of geopolymers. Among the high aspect ratio nanofillers i.e. nanofibers, 2vol% silicon carbide whicker (SCW) showed the highest improvement in fracture toughness and flexural strength of ~164% & ~185%, respectively. After heat treatment at 650 °C, SCW reinforcement was found to be effective, with little reduction in the performance, while the performance of alumina nanofiber (ANF) reinforced geopolymer significantly reduced. By means of SEM, EDS and X-ray diffraction techniques, it was found that the longer and stronger SCW is more capable of reinforcing the microstructurally inhomogeneous geopolymer than the smaller diameter, shorter ANF. After heat treatment at 760 ºC, the effectiveness of SCW as reinforcement in both fracture toughness and flexural strength was reduced by ~89% and ~43%, respectively, while, the ANF filled materials performed worse than the neat geopolymer. A strong interaction was suggested between ANF and geopolymer at high temperature by means of chemical reactions and diffusion. SEM & X-ray diffraction results suggested the formation of Al₄C₃ on the SCW surface, which could reduce the interface strength between SCW and geopolymer. Therefore it is suggested that the interface strength should be as high as required for load transfer and crack bridging. Finally, to investigate the potential synergy of a nano-filled matrix material and the fiber/matrix interface toughening mechanism of a continuous fiber composite, composite specimens were produced and tested. Flexural and shear strengths of Nextel 610 continuous fiber reinforced 2vol% SCW filled geopolymer matrix composites were investigated. Specimens were produced with cleaned Nextel fiber and with carbon-coated fibers to investigate the combinations of nano-filled matrix with continuous reinforcement that is well bonded (cleaned fiber) versus poorly bonded (carbon-coated fiber) to the matrix. The results showed that flexural strength of cleaned and coated fiber composites improved by ~35% and ~21% respectively, while shear strength of the similar composite systems improved by ~39.5% and ~24%. The results verified the effectiveness of SCW in toughening not only the neat geopolymer, but also continuous fiber reinforced geopolymer matrix composites.
dc.format.mediumborn digital
dc.format.mediumdoctoral dissertations
dc.identifierRahman_colostate_0053A_13225.pdf
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10217/167242
dc.languageEnglish
dc.publisherColorado State University. Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof2000-2019 - CSU Theses and Dissertations
dc.rightsCopyright of the original work is retained by the author.
dc.subjecthigh temperature composites
dc.subjectinterfacial bond strength
dc.subjectwhiskers
dc.subjectinorganic polymer
dc.subjectgeopolymer
dc.subjectnanofibers
dc.titleNanofiber reinforcement of a geopolymer matrix for improved composite materials mechanical performance
dc.typeText
dcterms.rights.dplaThe copyright and related rights status of this item has not been evaluated (https://rightsstatements.org/vocab/CNE/1.0/). Please refer to the organization that has made the Item available for more information.
thesis.degree.disciplineMechanical Engineering
thesis.degree.grantorColorado State University
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


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