Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 298–308 | Cite as

An Investigation into the Influence of Filler Silanization Conditions on Mechanical and Thermal Parameters of Epoxy Resin-Fly Ash Composites

  • Jolanta SrokaEmail author
  • Andrzej Rybak
  • Robert Sekula
  • Maciej Sitarz
Original Paper


The insulation material of electronic devices should offers high thermal conductivity whilst retaining suitable mechanical properties. Epoxy resin is an example of a material that is commonly used by industry for electronic insulation, despite the fact that neither the thermal conductivity nor the mechanical properties are particularly satisfying. These properties can be enhanced by incorporating filler, with silica flour representing the most popular filler. An economically appealing solution is to replace silica flour with fly ash as filler material, however it must be remembered that compatibility of fly ash and epoxy resin is not ideal. In order to improve the coupling between these two materials, fly ash particles covered with [3-(2-Aminoethylamino)propyl]trimethoxysilane were obtained with six different conditions of the silanization process, where the amount of silane, the temperature and the time of the reaction were changed. The presence of the silane layer was confirmed via Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Thermogravimetric Analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopy. The mechanical properties, including tensile strength, Young Modulus and fracture toughness, as well as the thermal conductivity of the final samples were investigated. In the case of composites with silanized fillers, all of the mechanical properties were improved, and an enhancement of thermal conductivity was observed for several composites. Moreover, the differences in coupling between the silanized fly ash and the untreated fly ash, and the epoxy matrix were precisely recorded by means of SEM. The presented studies confirm that an effective silanization process can significantly improve the properties of composites, while also verifying the usefulness of waste material. The results highlight that fly ash may be utilized to create a more economically affordable insulation material.


Fly ash Silanization Epoxy resin Mechanical properties Thermal conductivity 



This work was supported by NCN project “Functional layers of black glasses based on ladder-like silsesquioxanes” No 2014/15/B/ST8/0282. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support from James Ottewill in proofreading the manuscript.


This study was funded by National Science Centre (No 2014/15/B/ST8/0282).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jolanta Sroka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrzej Rybak
    • 2
  • Robert Sekula
    • 2
  • Maciej Sitarz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Silicate Chemistry and Macromolecular Compounds, Faculty of Materials Science and CeramicsAGH University of Science and TechnologyKrakowPoland
  2. 2.ABB Corporate Research CenterKrakowPoland

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