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Durability of Glass Fiber Reinforced Composites in Seawater and Alkaline

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Durability of Glass Fiber Reinforced Composites in Seawater and Alkaline Environments: The Interface Factor


Glass fiber (especially E-glass fibers) reinforced thermosetting polymer (e.g., vinyl ester and epoxy) composite materials are used in various industrial applications in corrosive environments such as seawater due to their competitive overall material performance and relatively low cost compared to specialty metals.  Durability of a composite material exposed to corrosive environments is one of the key design considerations.  From a material performance perspective, all three key components (fiber, resin matrix and fiber-matrix interface) of a composite system can have an impact on composite durability; the relative contribution of each element depends on the specific application conditions.  The focus of this study is to investigate the effect of different fiber-matrix interfacial treatments on the durability of glass fiber reinforced vinyl ester and epoxy composites in seawater and alkaline environments.  Stress corrosion and inter-laminar shear strength (ILSS) tests are used as two key testing metrics to evaluate composite durability behavior in this study.  Linear-log models of stress-rupture and ILSS-ageing time regression relationships are established for different interfacial treatments.  Quantitative analyses are performed with the assistance of statistical analysis tools including analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to determine if the differences between the regression lines are statistically significant.  The analysis results indicate that interfacial treatment plays a significant role in increasing interfacial hydrolysis resistance and improving the durability of glass fiber reinforced composites in harsh aqueous environments like seawater.


Authors: Pu Gu, James C. Watson


Conference: CAMX 2016 – Anaheim


SKU/Code: TP16-0073


Pages: 15

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