Effects of Environmental Exposure on Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Materials Used in Construction.
Effects of Environmental Exposure on Fiber-Reinforced
Plastic (FRP) Materials Used in Construction.
Chin, J. W.; Nguyen, T.; Aouadi, K.
Journal of Composites Technology and Research, Vol. 19,
No. 4, 205-213, October 1997.
construction; alkaline conditions; composites;
durability; polyester; moisture; saline conditions;
vinyl ester; ultraviolet radiation
A major hindrance to the acceptance of polymer
composites in civil engineering applications is the
susceptibility of the polymeric matrix to weathering.
The polymer matrix is prone to degradation initiated by
ultraviolet (UV) radiation, moisture, temperature, and
high pH environments. The objective of this study was
to characterize chemical and physical changes in
polymeric matrix resins following exposure to these
environments. The ultimate goal is to identify factors
that contribute to matrix resin degradation under
environmental and mechanical stresses. Resin systems
studied included vinyl ester and isophtalic polyester,
both of which are commonly used in construction
applications. Neat polymer films were exposed to UV
radiation, moisture, alkaline, and saline environments.
Diffusion of water, alkali, and saline solution into the
polymers was calculated from gravimetric measurements.
Changes in strength, visoelastic response, and thermal
properties were evaluated through tensile testing,
dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), and
differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Atomic force
microscopy (AFM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
(XPS) were also used for detecting changes in the
polymer surface following UV exposure.