Fly ash from coal power stations consists typically of a series of oxide minerals. These minerals can have beneficial effects when used as reinforcement in a plastic matrix. In this work the advanced technique SIMS has been utilised to identify the spatial distribution of the various minerals in fly ash in an epoxy matrix with fly ash weights of 10% and 50%. It is observed that SIMS, which can scan normally to a precision of 0.5 to 0.05 wt.%, could positively identify the distribution of the fly ash mineral elements in the epoxy. Attempts were also made to identify the fly ash element distribution in the epoxy using a composition analysis method, namely, EDS. However, it is observed that in the present fly ash-epoxy composites, EDS could not identify the fly ash elements demonstrating SIMS is a much preferred identification technique than the popular EDS method.
- Fly ash-epoxy composites