Combined Effects Of Sustained Loads And Wet-Dry Cycles On Durability Of Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites
This paper deals with durability of glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites under the combined effects of sustained tensile loads and wet-dry (WD) cycles. Two different solutions (distilled water and saltwater) were used to imitate the freshwater and marine environments, respectively. Tensile properties of the unconditioned and conditioned specimens were measured to study the durability of GFRP composites under these 2 effects. The response indicated that both tensile strength and elastic modulus increased initially upon WD cycles, which was attributed to both the postcuring of resin and the sustained tensile stress allowing for fastec cure. Further exposure to WD cycles in distilled water or saltwater led to a steady decrease in tensile strength and modulus. WD cycles of saltwater and distilled water have similar effects on the degradation of the tensile properties for unstressed specimens. However, the elastic modulus and elongation at rupture of stressed specimens under WD cycles of saltwater decreased more than those specimens under WD cycles of distilled water. Moreover, increase of sustained loads led to a decrease in tensile strength. Based on Arrhenius method, a prediction model which accounted for the effects of postcure processes was developed. The predicted results of tensile strength and elastic modulus agree well with those obtained from the experiments.