Incorporation of Rice Hull Derived Reactive Silica in Epoxy Composites and Evaluation of Their Mechanical Properties


Recent studies have shown that the incorporation of nano sized clay and silica can impart improved mechanical properties to composite materials. The present study was undertaken to explore the incorporation of rice hull derived silica in epoxy composites. Rice hulls were acid or hydrothermally treated prior to oxidative pyrolysis to yield high purity, high surface area (~280 m2 g-1) amorphous silica. Rice hull silica was ball milled with zerconia balls to obtain nano-sized silica discs. Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) examination of the ball milled rice hull silica revealed that the size of unaggregated material ranged between 80-120 nm. Silica was treated with silane coupling agents; treated and untreated silica were then mixed with commercial (Shell - Epon) epoxy resins or a soybean oil derived epoxy resin to fabricate composite materials. The effects of untreated and treated silica augumentation on the mechanical properties of composites were investigated through standard mechanical tests. Results of tests showed that incorporation of rice hull silica generally led to an enhancement in the modulus of the composite materials. The enhancements were more pronounced in the case of silica treated with amino silane coupling agents added to the soybean oil derived epoxy resin.

Meeting Name

International SAMPE Technical Conference (1 May 2005 through 5 May 2005, Long Beach, CA)



Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Epoxy-resins; Rice hulls

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2004 Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2005