PULVERISED FUEL ASH (PFA) IS A LOW VALUE INERT MATERIAL AVAILABLE IN LARGE QUANTITIES. ITS USE AS AN INSULANT AND FILLER IS WELL KNOWN FOR MANY YEARS IN CONCRETE AND BLOCK MANUFACTURE.
POLYURETHANE (PU) IS AN EXCELLENT BINDER AND INSULANT BUT SUFFERS FROM THE DISADVANTAGE OF HIGH COST AND VERY POOR FIRE RATING.
THE AIM OF THE PROJECT IS TO COMBINE PFA AND PU IN A NOVEL WAY TO PRODUCE A NEW TYPE OF INSULATION, CHEAPER AND WITH BETTER FIRE PROPERTIES THAN PU ALONE.
Pulverized fly ash (PFA) is a low value inert material, available in large quantities, which is ideal as a filler for plastics due to its spherical and lightweight nature. Polyurethane (PU) foam insulation is highly flammable and has high material costs. Research has been conducted on combining these 2 material to provide a new type of insulation which is cheaper and has better fire properties than PU alone.
Studies have been carried out on PFA PU mixtures, PFA PU composites and on the use of various other binders.
2 possible products have been identified:
a polyurethane foam with a surface layer containing PFA cenospheres bound by a polyurethane resin (this can also be reinforced using chopped fibreglass);
a composite containing PFA cenospheres bound by a sodium silicate resin.
THE RESULTS WILL SHOW :
A) THE TYPE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF PFA BEST SUITED FOR PU PANEL MAKING;
B) THE BEST METHODS OF HANDLING PFA AND THE EASE OR DIFFICULTY OF ACHIEVING A DISPERSION OF PFA IN PU FOAM, WHICH UNTIL IT HAS REACHED SETTING POINT IS MECHANICALLY UNSTABLE;
C) THE BEST METHODS OF MANUFACTURE OF PANELS I.E. CONTINUOUS PFA ADDITION WHILE MIXING THE POLYURETHANE CHEMICALS OR SEEDING PFA ON TO A LAYER OF POLYURETHANE;
D) THE NECESSITY FOR ADDITION OF OTHER COMPONENTS TO AID MIXING ETC. OR MODIFICATIONS TO PFA PROPERTIES BEFORE USE;
E) THE THERMAL, FLAMMABILITY AND DIMENSIONAL PROPERTIES OF THE FINISHED PANELS;
F) THE ECONOMIC EQUATIONS RELATING TO PERFORMANCE, COST, SUBSTITUTION LEVELS.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts