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Effect of stress on the fire reaction properties of polymer composite laminates

Lookup NU author(s): 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 10 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. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

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

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Polymer Degradation and Stability

Year: 2008

Volume: 93

Issue: 10

Pages: 1877-1883

Print publication date: 01/10/2008

ISSN (print): 0141-3910

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2321

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2008.07.004


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