Effect of service temperature on the flexural creep of vacuum infused GFRP laminates used in sandwich floor panels
This paper presents an experimental and analytical study about the effect of temperature on the flexural creep of GFRP laminates produced by vacuum infusion. Such laminates are considered for use in the faces of sandwich panels for building floor application. Flexural creep tests were carried out in a three point bending configuration for stress levels of 15%, 25% and 35% of the laminate's flexural strength, and temperatures of 20 degrees C, 24 degrees C and 28 degrees C (a range likely to be found in the envisaged application), with durations between 1000 h and 2215 h. The creep response was observed to increase both with temperature and stress level. Findley's power law was used to model the experimental results, and extended to include an Arrhenius equation for temperature dependence of the creep response. The proposed model provided a good fit to the experimental creep curves, and was used to derive a set of practical design equations for the time-temperature dependent (i) flexural modulus, (ii) creep coefficient, and (iii) flexural modulus reduction factor. Finally, the time-temperature-stress superposition principle (TTSSP) and the time-stress superposition principle (TSSP) were used to obtain "master curves" that compared well with the proposed model's predictions. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.