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The shape and size effect of the diatom frustule addition on the compression behavior of an epoxy
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The effects of the Achnanthes Taeniata and the diatomaceous earth (diatomite) frustules addition on the compressive strength of an epoxy matrix were investigated experimentally. The Achnanthes Taeniata frustules having relatively high length/diameter aspect ratio (2-4) were isolated and cultured in laboratory. While the as-received commercial natural diatomite frustules were non-homogenous in shape and size. The filling epoxy matrix with ~6 wt% of commercial natural diatomite increased the compressive strength from 60 MPa to 67 MPa, while the Achnanthes Taeniata frustules addition increased to 79 MPa. The increased compressive strength and modulus of the the Achnanthes Taeniata frustules filled epoxy was attributed to the higher aspect ratio and relatively strong bonding with the epoxy matrix. The more effective load transfer from the matrix to the Achnanthes Taeniata frustules associated with the enhanced interface bonding was also proved microscopically. The frustules were observed to pull-out on the fracture surface of the Achnanthes Taeniata frustules filled epoxy.