Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

Eung H. Cho.


This study was conducted to determine the effect of clay content in the GFRP (glass fiber reinforced polymer) composite samples as they are aged in an alkaline solution. Two kinds of GFRP composite samples were prepared. One was E-glass fiber reinforced vinyl ester polymer and the other was nano-GFRP prepared with the addition of 1 and 2 wt% of montmorillonite clay. These samples were aged in alkaline solution of pH 13.2 with and without sustained load. The load was 1335 N or 18.75% of the tensile strength of the composite samples. The aging was evaluated by measuring the reduction in tensile strength after 6 months. Also, absorption of alkaline solution into the plain and nano-GFRP samples was investigated in order to elucidate the diffusion behaviors.;It has been found that for a short exposure time (e.g. one month) and without sustained load, dispersing 2 wt% of the nanoclay in the polymer matrix of the GFRP samples reduces the diffusivity by 39%. However, with the application of sustained load, the glass fiber composite samples deteriorate more with increasing clay content. The reduction in tensile strength is 7.5%, 12.4% and 18% for the samples containing 0, 1 and 2 wt% clay, respectively.