Characterization of Flooring Composites
MetadataShow full item record
The possibility of reinforcing high-pressure laminates with particles of yttria-stabilized zirconia has been investigated. The particles were embedded in a matrix of melamine formaldehyde resin, and several parameters, both with respect to the production method and the composition has been varied in order to improve the performance of the laminates. The effect of varying the number of applications of resin, the drying time and drying temperature has been examined. Laminates have been prepared with three different particle concentrations, and both with and without overlay paper. The performance of the laminates have been evaluated with respect to their resistance against chemical attacks as well as mechanical wear in the form of scratching, impact and abrasion. Several tests for determining the mechanical properties according to standards used in the laminate industry has been carried out, and characterization was done by employing scanning electron microscope, laser profilometer and a micro scratch tester. It was evident that the thickness of the overlay is absolutely essential for the performance of the laminates. To achieve an overlay with adequate thickness, three-layer coating of the resin and subsequent drying at room temperature seems to be the best option for laminates made at the laboratory scale. Laminates should be made with overlay paper in order to increase the thickness of the overlay and is crucial for achieving the desired performance with respect to wear. Moreover, laminates made with stabilized zirconia showed some good qualities, especially for the scratch resistance and chemical resistance, but further work needs to be done with respect to increasing the resistance to wear and impact. Poor adhesion between the ceramic particles and the polymer matrix was most likely the cause for the wear resistance being below par, while the morphology of the particles may have contributed to stress concentrations that were detrimental to the impact resistance of the laminate.