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Open AccessArticle

Mechanical Properties of Coal Ash Particle-Reinforced Recycled Plastic-Based Composites for Sustainable Railway Sleepers

1
Department of Urban and Environmental Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), 50 UNIST-gil, Ulju-gun, Ulsan 44919, Korea
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16801, USA
3
Department of Civil & Railroad Engineering, Daewon University College, 316 Daehak-ro, Jecheon, Chung-Buk 27135, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(10), 2287; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12102287
Received: 7 September 2020 / Revised: 29 September 2020 / Accepted: 2 October 2020 / Published: 6 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Recycling: Degradation, Processing, Applications)
This experimental research investigates the mechanical properties of municipal plastic waste-based particulate composites reinforced with coal ash (CA), the by-product of thermal power plants, for sustainable railway sleepers. Six series of sustainable composites filled with inorganic mineral fillers, including CA, were prepared by a twin-screw extruder and a compression molding machine. The effect of mix design variables—such as filler type, contents and the particle size of the filler—on mechanical properties—including tensile, compression and flexural properties—and morphology were characterized. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was employed to examine the morphology of the composites, which revealed the uniform dispersion of fillers in the polymer matrix. The study results conclude that the recycled plastic-based composite with the addition of CA up to 60% is suitable for railway sleeper applications. This experimental study may provide new insight into the railway applications of the developed composites under service loading conditions including traffic loading and earthquake. View Full-Text
Keywords: municipal plastic waste; coal ash; railway sleeper; mechanical properties; morphology municipal plastic waste; coal ash; railway sleeper; mechanical properties; morphology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ju, S.; Yoon, J.; Sung, D.; Pyo, S. Mechanical Properties of Coal Ash Particle-Reinforced Recycled Plastic-Based Composites for Sustainable Railway Sleepers. Polymers 2020, 12, 2287.

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