Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Polymers and Composites

pp 1-19

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Particulate Fillers, Selection, and Use in Polymer Composites

  • Christopher DeArmittAffiliated withPhantom Plastics LLC, 2 Denison Lane Email author 
  • , Roger RothonAffiliated withRothon Consultants, 3 Orchard Croft

Keywords

Filler Mineral Polymer Thermoplastic Thermoset Elastomer Particle size Particle shape Composite

Definition

Particulate fillers are powdered substances, with particles usually less than 100 μm in size, which are added to polymers to reduce cost, to improve processing, and/or to modify one or more properties. Nanoparticle fillers are those where at least one dimension is in the 1–10 nm range, but fibers and nanoparticle fillers are outside of the scope of this article. A particulate-filled polymer composite is an admixture of a polymer matrix with particulate fillers.

Introduction

Fillers have been incorporated into all polymer types, thermoplastics, elastomers, and thermosets, from the very beginning. Indeed, it is true to say that the development of many of today’s polymers would not have been possible without them. One of the original purposes was simply to reduce cost, especially in the early days when polymers were relatively expensive. Today, as polymers have become more of a commodity and less expensive, addition of fillers to reduce cost is less important and other reasons hav ...

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