Processing and Characterization Techniques for a Mica Filled Polymer Composite
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Mica particulates (filler) were combined with polymethyl methacrylate (matrix) to form a polymer matrix ceramic composite (PMCC). Mica concentrations in the range of 10-80 wt% mica with particulate sizes in the range of 53-212 μm were used. Dynamic mechanical analysis was used to conduct stress/strain tests on these composites in order to observe the resulting elastic moduli with varying mica particulate size and concentration. The elastic moduli showed an overall increase with increasing mica concentration in all but one tested particulate size, which exhibited a peak modulus at 60 wt% mica filler. Statistical analysis showed that both the mica concentration and mica particulate sizes were significant to the resulting elastic moduli, as well as the interaction between these two factors. Optical microscopy was used to observe the interface between the polymer matrix and mica particulates in order to determine the degree to which the two materials bonded to each other. It was observed that the PMMA and mica showed good bonding, meaning the formed materials were successfully combined into a cohesive composite.