Encyclopedia of Polymers and Composites

Living Edition
| Editors: Kamal K. Kar (Editor-in-Chief)

Particulate Fillers, Selection, and Use in Polymer Composites

Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-37179-0_1-1


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.


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...


Filler Mineral Polymer Thermoplastic Thermoset Elastomer Particle size Particle shape Composite 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Boonstra (1975) Rubber Technology and Manufacture, 7th edn. Newnes-Butterworth, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Boonstra BB (1975) Reinforcement by fillers, Chapter 7. In: Blow CM (ed) Rubber technology and manufacture. Newnes-Butterworth, London.Google Scholar
  3. Burditt N (1991) Conference presentation, In: Griffiths J (ed) Proceedings of mineral fillers in polymers. Metal Bulletin plc, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. German RM (1989) Particle packing characteristics. Metal Powder Industries Federation, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  5. Jackson GV et al (2003) Particulate-filled polymer composites, 2nd edn. Rapra Technology, Shrewsbury, pp 444–478Google Scholar
  6. Steingiser S, Nemphos SP, Salame M (1978) Barrier Properties. In: Mark HF (ed) Encyclopedia of chemical technology, 3rd edn. Wiley Interscience, New York, p 482Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Brandrup J, Immergut EH, Grulke EA, Abe A, Bloch DR (eds) (1999) Polymer handbook, 4th edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Brydsen JA (1999) Plastic materials, 7th edn. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  3. Jancar J (ed) (1999) Advances in polymer science series, vol 139. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  4. Karger-Kocsis J (ed) (1995) Polypropylene structure blends and composites, vol 3. Chapman and Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Katz HS, Milewski JV (eds) (1987) Handbook of fillers for plastics. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Nielsen LE (1974) Mechanical properties of polymers and composites. Marcel Dekker, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Rothon RN (2002) Particulate fillers for polymers. RAPRA review report Rapra Technology, Shrewsbury UK. 141. ISSN: 0889-3144Google Scholar
  8. Rothon RN, Hancock M (2003) General principles guiding selection and use of particulate materials, chapter 1. In: Rothon RN (ed) Particulate-filled polymer composites, 2nd edn. Rapra Technology, Shrewsbury, pp 5–51Google Scholar
  9. Shenoy AV (1999) Rheology of filled polymer systems. Kluwer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  10. Xanthos M (ed) (2010) Functional fillers for plastics. Wiley-VCH, WeinheimGoogle Scholar
  11. Wu S (1982) Polymer interface and adhesion. Marcel Dekker, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Wypych G (2009) Handbook of fillers, 3rd edn. ChemTec Publishing, TorontoGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Phantom Plastics LLC, 2 Denison LaneOhioUSA
  2. 2.Rothon Consultants, 3 Orchard CroftChesterUK