Stability of Glass Fiber-Plastic Composites
AUBURN UNIV AL DEPT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
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Exploratory research was conducted to determine the stages and nature of degradation of glass fiber-plastic composite systems under various environmental conditions. Glass fiber-epoxy structural composites have many characteristics that are desirable in Army materiel however, they suffer appreciable losses in strength on storage in high humidity-high temperature conditions. A number of mechanical, physical and chemical tests were performed on the individual components in the system and on samples of composites made of these components. It was found that the glass filaments are a reactive component and lose their strength rapidly on direct exposure to water at elevated temperatures. Magnesium is a particularly active component. It was also found that the silane coupling agent that is incorporated in standard commercial glass finishes is a possible reactive component. It is recommended that research be conducted to find ways to stabilize the glass and glass fiber-epoxy composite structural materials against water degradation. A possible experimental research program was outlined for this purpose. It was emphasized that the most pronounced need is to establish a formulation and application procedure for a protective finish material. This material is a critical part of the structural system and should not be left as a proprietary, unregulated part of the system.
- Laminates and Composite Materials