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Calcined and natural frustules filled epoxy matrices: The effect of volume fraction on the tensile and compression behavior
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The effects of calcined diatom (CD) and natural diatom (ND) frustules filling (0–12 vol.%) on the quasistatic tensile and quasi-static and high strain rate compression behavior of an epoxy matrix were investigated experimentally. The high strain rate testing of frustules-filled and neat epoxy samples was performed in a compression Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar set-up. The frustules filling increased the stress values at a constant strain and decreased the tensile failure strains of the epoxy matrix. Compression tests results showed that frustules filling of epoxy increased both elastic modulus and yield strength values at quasi-static and high strain rates. While, a higher strengthening effect and strain rate sensitivity were found with ND frustules filling. Microscopic observations revealed two main compression deformation modes at quasi-static strain rates: the debonding of the frustules from the epoxy and/or crushing of the frustules. However, the failure of the filled composites at high strain rates was dominated by the fracture of epoxy matrix.