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Queen Mary University of LondonQueen Mary University of London
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School of Engineering and Materials Science
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PhD Thesis: Fibre reinforced ceramic moulding composites: manufacturing and characterisation

Author: REN, Guogang

Year: 2000

Supervisor(s): Paul Hogg

The research described in this thesis has been concerned with the development and characterisation of a series of ceramic compounds that can be moulded at modest temperatures (approx 150oC) and pressures in a manufacturing system that replicates dough moulding compounds (DMC) as used for polymeric matrix composites. The conventional polyester matrix of polymeric DMCs has been replaced by a soluble inorganic system which is compounded with fibres, fillers and curing agents to produce a paste-like or doughy substance. The handle-ability of the material is determined by the viscosity of the matrix and the amount of fillers and additives present.

The research has involved a careful set of experiments in which the formulation of the ceramic DMC has been systematically varied in order to achieve an optimum viscosity for storage and handling together with a further series of experiments studying the hardening and cure of the compounds. The mechanical properties of the compounds have been measured and additional formulation changes have been introduced to maintain desirable processing characteristics while improving mechanical properties, and in particular the impact resistance using instrumented falling weight impact machines. Finally the fire properties of the compounds have been studied using cone calorimetry and indicative furnace testing.

The structure of the compound has been studied throughout the programme with various microscopic techniques and thermal analysis systems used to characterise the materials, their dispersion and changes that occur during processing and after high temperature exposure.