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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


The primary challenge encountered by polymers and their composites when exposed to saline water is their inadequate ability to withstand wear and tear over time. With a potential to replace conventional materials the long-term performance of FRP composites is still a novice area. This manuscript thus, reports an experimental investigation and prediction of the durability of fiber-reinforced polymer composites exposed to seawater at different temperatures. E-glass/epoxy and E-glass/polyurethane samples were exposed to 23 °C, 45 °C and 65 °C seawater for up to 2700 days (90 months). Tensile tests evaluated the mechanical performance of the composite as a function of exposure time, and strength-based technique was used to assess the durability. The experimental results revealed that the tensile strength of E-glass/epoxy composite decreased by 6.3% and 48.9% after 90 months in seawater at 23 and 65 °C, respectively, whereas it declined by 37.6% and 63.6% respectively for E-glass/Polyurethane composite. The prolonged immersion in seawater results in plasticization and swelling in the composite material, which accelerates the fiber/matrix debonding. SEM micrographs indicate fiber/matrix debonding, potholing, fiber pull-out, river line marks, and matrix cracking which showcases deterioration in the tensile properties of both composites.

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© 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Publisher’s version of record:

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Polymer Testing


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