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Durability of Sandwich Composite Structures Due to Freezing

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Durability of Sandwich Composite Structures Due to Freezing and Thawing and Ice Chemicals


Pedestrian and movable composite bridge decks are often treated by de-icing agents for the purpose of removing snow and ice.  These agents contain a significant amount of saline concentration that is transported to the composite structure by direct splashing or air-born debris. The long term performance and damage mechanism of theses composite sandwich structures under these environmental conditions are still unclear. To simulate these effects, sandwich panels using balsa wood (SB100) and foam core (Airex C70.55)  with fiber glass/vinyl ester face sheets  were exposed to 100 days of freeze/thaw exposure (-20°C to 20°C). The freezing and thawing occurred in presence of water saline solution. Results confirmed that thermal cycling reduces the balsa wood core shear strength by 15 % and modulus by 6 %. Interestingly, the PVC foam core shear modulus increased by 30 % after exposure. Simulated lifetime core shear fatigue curves were developed and evaluated. Nondestructive testing techniques such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Optical microscopy and X-Ray computed tomography were used to rationalize the static and fatigue behavior of the core materials. The X-Ray micrographs confirmed the intralaminar damage as well as resin crazing at the junctions of fill and warp fibers of the facesheets.


Authors: Elias A. Toubia, Sadra Emami


Conference: CAMX 2016 – Anaheim


SKU/Code: TP16-0089


Pages: 14

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