ABSTRACT The inclusion of CaCO3 and kaolin in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) polymer matrices greatly enhances the physical and mechanical properties of the composite. In this study, the effects of kaolin and surface treatment of CaCO3 and kaolin particles on the microstructure and mechanical properties of PVC composites filled with kaolin particles via melt blending method were studied by means of SEM, tensile, Charpy impact testing, and FTIR. Treated and untreated kao-lin particles were dispersed in matrices of PVC resin at different concentrations up to 30 wt percentage. The tensile strength, elastic modulus, strain to failure and morphology of the resulting composites were measured for various filler loadings. Uniform dispersion of the fillers into the matrix proved to be a critical factor. SEM images revealed that small sized particles were more agglomerated than micron-sized particles and the amount of agglomerates increased with increasing particle content. Silane treated Kaolin-CaCO3/PVC composites had superior tensile and impact strengths to untreated kaolin-CaCO3/PVC composites. The Young’s modulus of all composites increased with increasing particle content up to maximum at 10% filler loading followed by gradually decreasing as content increased.
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