Microstructure of a cement matrix composite reinforced with polypropylene fibers
Keywords:polymer/cement composite (PMCs), microstructure, polypropylene, electron microscopy, ESEM, FESEM
The present investigation deals with the microstructural characterization of a composite material, which is comprised of polypropylene fibers in an cement matrix, by means of environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). The microstructure of the different phases that compose the matrix is very heterogeneous, though there is a uniform distribution of the fibers inside it. The surface of this composite is different after setting, cured and hardening depending if the zone is or not in touch with the walls of the mould. The interface between the different crystalline regions of the cement matrix and the dispersed fibers shows compatibility between the matrix and the polymeric fibers. The mechanical properties (compression and bending strength) have also been evaluated. The use of melamine formaldehyde as additive leads to a reinforcement of the cement matrix and to the improvement of the mechanical properties.
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