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Open AccessArticle

Moisture Absorption/Desorption Effects on Flexural Property of Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Polyester Laminates: Three-Point Bending Test and Coupled Hygro-Mechanical Finite Element Analysis

by 1,†, 2,†, 3,*, 4,† and 4,†
1
Department of Bridge Engineering, College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
2
Shandong Provincial Academy of Building Research, Jinan 250031, China
3
Department of Structural Engineering, College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
4
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Delft 2628CN, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Alper Ilki and Masoud Motavalli
Polymers 2016, 8(8), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8080290
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 20 July 2016 / Accepted: 3 August 2016 / Published: 10 August 2016
Influence of moisture absorption/desorption on the flexural properties of Glass-fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP) laminates was experimentally investigated under hot/wet aging environments. To characterize mechanical degradation, three-point bending tests were performed following the ASTM test standard (ASTM D790-10A). The flexural properties of dry (0% Mt/M), moisture unsaturated (30% Mt/M and 50% Mt/M) and moisture saturated (100% Mt/M) specimens at both 20 and 40 °C test temperatures were compared. One cycle of moisture absorption-desorption process was considered in this study to investigate the mechanical degradation scale and the permanent damage of GFRP laminates induced by moisture diffusion. Experimental results confirm that the combination of moisture and temperature effects sincerely deteriorates the flexural properties of GFRP laminates, on both strength and stiffness. Furthermore, the reducing percentage of flexural strength is found much larger than that of E-modulus. Unrecoverable losses of E-modulus (15.0%) and flexural strength (16.4%) for the GFRP laminates experiencing one cycle of moisture absorption/desorption process are evident at the test temperature of 40 °C, but not for the case of 20 °C test temperature. Moreover, a coupled hygro-mechanical Finite Element (FE) model was developed to characterize the mechanical behaviors of GFRP laminates at different moisture absorption/desorption stages, and the modeling method was subsequently validated with flexural test results. View Full-Text
Keywords: glass fibre reinforced polymer; bridge deck; environmental degradation; mechanical property; coupled hygro-mechanical numerical analysis glass fibre reinforced polymer; bridge deck; environmental degradation; mechanical property; coupled hygro-mechanical numerical analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiang, X.; Song, J.; Qiang, X.; Kolstein, H.; Bijlaard, F. Moisture Absorption/Desorption Effects on Flexural Property of Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Polyester Laminates: Three-Point Bending Test and Coupled Hygro-Mechanical Finite Element Analysis. Polymers 2016, 8, 290.

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