In this research, an agro-waste filler walnut shell powder (WSP) is used as filler material in polymer composite making. It explores the possibility of composite fabrication with walnut shell powder in polyester resin. It includes the fabrication details of such composites along with its hybridization with short areca fibers as secondary reinforcement. The physical, micro-structural and mechanical characteristics of these composites are studied. Theoretical models are developed to predict effective thermal conductivity (Keff) of the polymer composites of the particulate filled and the hybrid composites. The evaluation of effective thermal conductivity, glass transition temperature coefficient of thermal expansion, dielectric and acoustic of these composites are discussed. Further, the experimental and analytical details on the sliding and erosion wear response of these composites are reported. The tensile, flexural, compressive and impact strength of the composites are significantly influenced with the incorporation of the WSP filler. It is observed that the thermal insulation capability of the composites is enhanced due to reinforcement of walnut shell powder and further improved by use of secondary short areca fibers. An improvement in glass transition temperature (Tg) and drop in coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of the composites is also reported with inclusion of walnut shell powder. Correlations are developed and proposed for erosion and sliding wear rates with the independent process parameters by response surface method (RSM). The developed composites have several advantages such low density, high mechanical strength, good corrosion resistance, low thermal conductivity, high resistance to wear and better sound absorption quality due to which they composites can be used in different domestic and industrial applications.
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