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Materials 2019, 12(5), 807; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050807

Exposure of Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites in Seawater and the Effect on Their Physical Performance

1
Dipartimento di Scienza Applicata e Tecnologia (DISAT), Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
2
Element Materials Technology Ltd., Wilbury Way, Hitchin SG4 0TW, UK
3
National Physical Laboratory, Hampton Road, Teddington TW11 0LW, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 December 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 8 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Glasses, Composites and Ceramics for High Growth Industries)
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Abstract

An innovative testing methodology to evaluate the effect of long-term exposure to a marine environment on Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymers (GFRPs) has been investigated and is presented in this paper. Up to one-year ageing was performed in seawater, to simulate the environment for offshore oil and gas applications. The performance of an epoxy and epoxy-based GFRP exposed at different temperatures from 25 to 80 °C was quantified. The materials were also aged in dry air, to de-couple the thermal effect from the seawater chemical action. Gravimetric testing and Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) were conducted in parallel on progressively aged specimens. The effect of specimen geometry and the anisotropic nature of diffusion are comprehensively discussed in this paper. For the quasi-infinite specimens, the results show an exponential increase in the seawater absorption rate with temperature. The methodology allowed for the prediction of the diffusivity at a temperature of 4 °C as 0.23 and 0.05 × 10−13 m2/s for the epoxy and the epoxy-based composite, respectively. The glass transition temperature reduces as sea water is absorbed, yet the sea water effects appear to be reversible upon drying. View Full-Text
Keywords: PMCs; GFRPs; seawater exposure; diffusion; ageing; accelerated testing; gravimetric; DMA PMCs; GFRPs; seawater exposure; diffusion; ageing; accelerated testing; gravimetric; DMA
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Cavasin, M.; Sangermano, M.; Thomson, B.; Giannis, S. Exposure of Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites in Seawater and the Effect on Their Physical Performance. Materials 2019, 12, 807.

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