Infoscience

Journal article

An experimental-numerical study of moisture absorption in an epoxy

It is well known that moisture absorption impairs the mechanical and physical properties of polymers. Conventionally, the material's hygric strains are described as the product of a constant coefficient of moisture expansion (CME) and moisture concentration. This hypothesis, however, has not been thoroughly examined experimentally. In this paper, the hygro-mechanical response of a DGBA based epoxy is reported as a function of moisture uptake. Cylindrical specimens are made of epoxy with an axially located optical fiber that contains a 23 mm Bragg grating sensor (FBG). Strain data from the sensor and from a micrometer are combined with experimental absorption curves to determine the resin's CME. The data indicate that diffusion and CME depend on moisture. Analysis of the experiments is carried out by numerical simulations of heat transfer, moisture diffusion and elastic stress analysis of the single fiber composite. The simulated results correlate well with the experimental data. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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