Composite films of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) reinforced with 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 wt. surface-coated fly ash by surfactant, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS-FA) along with 1 wt. cross-linking agent, glutaraldehyde (GLA) were prepared by aqueous casting method. The tensile strengths of the composite films were increased proportionally with the addition of SLS-FA. The maximum 75 higher strength of the composite with 20 wt. was achieved compared to that of neat PVA. The modulus of the composites was also increased proportionally with SLS-FA and the maximum 218 reached in composite with 20 wt. , but the strain at break was decreased with addition of SLS-FA. Changes in FTIR spectra reflect the chemical and/or physical bonding in the ternary PVA, SLS-FA and GLA component systems. In the study of surface morphology, the connectivity was visualized in SEM images along with interstitial voids. The films with SLS-FA show 53 smoother surface calculated with AFM compared to unmodified FA composite films.