Polymer nanocomposites are promising for application in various products. However, effective additives as mechanical reinforcements at a low cost are needed. From the other hand, oil fly ash, which is hugely available in Saudi Arabia and other countries might solve this issue. This material is produced as a biproduct due to the use of crude/heavy oil as a fuel in power and desalination plants. The majority of such fly ash consists of unburned carbon, which can make up 80-95 wt% of the ash. A considerable part of these carbons has graphitic structures. This oil fly ash in its nano and micro structures is found to be quite suitable for its use as a mechanical reinforcement. Among such structures, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) derived oil fly ash were found to have attractive structural and mechanical properties. These CNTs were evaluated as reinforcements for different thermoplastics like high-density polyethylene, polycarbonate, polypropylene, and polystyrene. Significant enhancement in the mechanical properties at a low weight fraction mainly the tensile strength, Young’s modulus, stiffness, and hardness, were observed. The other form of oil fly ash is nanoparticles, produced in our lab was evaluated for high-performance epoxy matrix system. The obtained results showed significant enhancement in the stiffness of the nanocomposite material by 60% over that of the pure epoxy matrix system. These results might be useful to recommend oil fly ash at its nano and micro structure for different polymers.


About the Speaker

Numan Salah is a Professor at the Center of Nanotechnology and a group leader at KAU (Carbon Nanostructures). He has a Ph.D. degree is in Physics and his research interest includes nanomaterials (synthesis, characterization, application) like carbon nanostructures, optical and thermoelectric nanomaterials produced by different techniques for different applications mainly Dosimetry, Energy, Water. Authored/co-authored > 145 research papers and has > 10 US patents. Teaching some courses in the Nuclear Engineering Dept. and supervision of research programs, Guiding PhD students and mentoring Post Doc Fellows.

By Dr. Numan Salah

  • Professor at the Center of Nanotechnology, KAU
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