Diatom frustule-filled epoxy: Experimental and numerical study of the quasi-static and high strain rate compression behavior
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In this study, centric type diatom frustules obtained from a diatomaceous earth filter material were used as filler in an epoxy resin with a weight percentage of 15% in order to assess the possible effects on the compressive behavior at quasi-static and high strain rates. The high strain rate testing of frustule-filled and neat epoxy samples was performed in a split-Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) set-up and modeled using the commercial explicit finite element code LS-DYNA 970. Result has shown that 15% frustule filling of epoxy increased both modulus and yield strength values at quasi-static and high strain rates without significantly reducing the failure strain. Microscopic observations revealed two main deformation modes: the debonding of the frustules from the epoxy and crushing/fracture of the frustules. The modeling results have further confirmed the attainment of stress equilibrium in the samples in SHPB testing following the initial elastic region and showed good agreement with the experimental stress–time response and deformation sequence of the samples in high strain rate testing.