Department: Structural Engineering
Name: Padmavathi Surathi
Email: psurathi @ ucsd.edu
Grad Year: 2006
Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites offer many advantages over conventional materials in Engineering Applications. Their widespread use emphasizes the need to predict their performances over long term on exposure to different environmental conditions.The kinetics of fluid sorption in polymer composites has been studied widely and different models have been suggested. The two most widely accepted models, Fickian and Langmuir diffusion models are applied to moisture absorption data of E-glass-Vinylester composites at different temperatures. The time and temperature dependence of the rate of diffusion and maximum moisture content is analyzed.
Various processes of degradation, both reversible and irreversible, are induced in composite materials on exposure to moisture. The durability characteristics of unidirectional E-glass-Vinylester composites under the influence of relative humidity and immersion in water at different temperatures are studied. The correlation between tensile and flexural strength data is investigated using statistical models. This research attempts to analyze the behavior of FRP composites exposed to the aforementioned environments and theoretically model their effects on the mechanical properties- Tensile strength, Tensile modulus, Flexural strength and Short beam shear strength- of the FRP composites, for purposes of long-term life prediction. This study attempts to develop an initial correlation between effects due to immersion in deionized water with those due to exposure to humidity in an attempt to further develop techniques for prediction of longer-term durability of these materials under field conditions.
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