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Fire integrity of polymer composites using the two layer model

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Geoff Gibson, Dr Peter Wright, Yi-Shan Wu, Professor Adrian Mouritz


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This paper reports the behavior of woven glass laminates with polyester, vinyl ester and phenolic resins during and after fire exposure. Unstressed laminates were exposed to a constant heat flux for various times, and the residual post-fire strength was reported. When loaded laminates were tested the survival times were 2-3 times shorter. Compressive stress was more damaging in fire than tension. The 'two-layer' model comprises (i) an unaffected layer with virgin properties and (ii) a heat affected layer with zero properties. A thermal model was employed to predict the temperature and the residual resin profile through the laminate. Comparing the model predictions with measured values of effective laminate thickness enabled simple criteria to be developed for the position of the 'boundary' between heat-affected and undamaged material. For post-fire integrity of unloaded laminates, this corresponds to a Residual Resin Content (RRC) of 80%, a criterion that applies to all the resin types tested. For laminate under load in fire, the boundary in compressive loading corresponds to the point where the resin reaches 170°C. In tensile loading, the boundary corresponds to 10% RRC. The model has been used to produce predictions for 'generic' composite laminates in fire.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gibson AG, Wright PNH, Wu Y-S, Mouritz AP, Mathys Z, Gardiner CP

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 49th International SAMPE Symposium and Exhibition: Materials and Processing Technology

Year of Conference: 2004

Pages: 1333-1347

ISSN: 0891-0138

Publisher: Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering