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Effect of Stress on the Fire Reaction Properties of Polymer Composite Laminates

Lookup NU author(s): Awad Elmughrabi, Professor Mark RobinsonORCiD, Professor Geoff Gibson


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A small-scale loading frame was used to apply tensile and compressive stresses to glass vinyl ester and glass polyester laminates in a cone calorimeter under a heat flux of 75 kW m(-2). It was found, for the first time, that stress has a small but significant effect on the fire reaction properties. Increasing tensile stress increased heat release rate and smoke production, while shortening the time-to-ignition. Compressive stress had the reverse effect. This was attributed to the fact that tensile stress promotes the formation of matrix microcracks, facilitating the evolution of flammable volatiles. This hypothesis is further supported by the observation that stress has the greatest effect on the early heat and smoke release peaks, with a lower effect on the final 'run-out' values. Stress rupture (time-to-failure) curves were produced for tension and compression. In tension, the behaviour was fibre dominated, with times-to-failure being roughly ten times those in compression. Compressive failure involved resin dominated local fibre kinking, initiated near to the rear face of the specimen. The failure time was determined by a significant proportion of the specimen reaching its glass transition temperature.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Elmughrabi AE, Robinson AM, Gibson AG

Editor(s): Pantelakis, SG; Rodopoulos, CA

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 1st International Conference of Engineering Against Fracture

Year of Conference: 2008

Pages: 137-154

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-9402-6_12

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781402094019