Surface Degradation of Polymer Matrix Composites Under Different Low Thermal Cycling Conditions

Document Type: Research Paper


Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Solid Mechanics, University of Kashan, Kashan, Iran


The principal effects of mass degradation on polymer matrix composites (PMCs) are the decay of mechanical properties such as strength, elongation, and resilience. This degradation is a common problem of the PMCs under thermal cycling conditions. In this article, composite degradation was investigated by measurement of total mass loss (TML) using the Taguchi approach. Thermal cycling tests were performed using a developed thermal cycling apparatus. Weight loss experiments were performed on the glass fiber/epoxy laminates under different number of thermal cycles and temperature differences. Also, The specimens had various fiber volume fractions and stacking sequences. Statistical analysis is performed to study contribution of each factor. Based on weight loss rates, a regression model was presented to evaluate the TML of laminated composite materials samples. It was found that the temperature differences and fiber volume fraction are the most effective factors of surface degradation with 61 and 22 percent contribution. Also, under the similar experimental conditions, the [0]8 layups exhibits 44 and 35.7 percent more mass loss than the [0/±45/90]s and [02/902]s layups, respectively.


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