Palhoça, Brazil – Another potential filler for PU insulation is being explored by scientists at Brazil’s University of Southern Santa Catarina – brick dust. They looked at the potential of incorporating red ceramic residue powder within the PU matrix, and then studied its thermal performance.
Composites were prepared that contained between 10% and 30% of the powder, along with a control sample without it. The composites had similar thermal stability.
Increasing the residue content led to heterogeneous and open pores being formed within the composite structure. This had an impact on the properties of the material, with compressive strength, Young modulus and thermal conductivity all decreasing, while the water absorption value increased.
The thermal conductivity of all the composites with added filler was lower than for the polyurethane on its own, with the best thermal insulation result for the filled composites achieved with 10% inclusion.
They suggested that composite rigid PU boards could have potential in insulation, with the inclusion of the waste increasing environmental sustainability when used in construction.
The work has been published in the Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management.