A new porous material based on cenospheres
Biju-Duval, Paul M.
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This thesis deals with the mechanical and physical investigations on a newly discovered porous material based on fly ash cenospheres. The process used to fabricate the material along with the physical properties of the material is first described. Under uniaxial compression, it is observed that the material exhibits a long load plateau that is typical of energy absorbing materials such as thin-walled metallic honeycombs. In tension, the material fractures similar to most traditional brittle materials such as glass and ceramics. As a result, several uniaxial compression and tension tests are performed on different samples to evaluate the influence of the different chemicals, the curing time, and the mass density on the 'plateau' strength. However, in addition to its low processing costs, the new material presents important properties that are desirable for discrete materials such as homogeneity and isotropy. Although its insulating properties were not quantified, it appears that the material can be used as an excellent heat barrier. Finally, metallic tubes as well as bamboo poles reinforced with the new material are tested to investigate the effectiveness of the reinforcement, showing highly improved structural performance.