The thermal barrier efficiency of two types of ceramic particle, glass flakes and aluminum titanate, dispersed on the surface of carbon-fiber epoxy composites, has been evaluated using a cone calorimeter at 35 and 50 kW/m2
, in addition to temperature gradients through the samples’ thicknesses, measured by inserting thermocouples on the exposed and back surfaces during the cone tests. Two techniques of dispersing ceramic particles on the surface have been employed, one where particles were dispersed on semi-cured laminate and the other where their dispersion in a phenolic resin was applied on the laminate surface, using the same method as used previously for glass fiber composites. The morphology and durability of the coatings to water absorption, peeling, impact and flexural tension were also studied and compared with those previously reported for glass-fiber epoxy composites. With both methods, uniform coatings could be achieved, which were durable to peeling or water absorption with a minimal adverse effect on the mechanical properties of composites. While all these properties were comparable to those previously observed for glass fiber composites, the ceramic particles have seen to be more effective on this less flammable, carbon fiber composite substrate.
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