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Water Absorbtion

Marine Composites

Water Absorption

When an organic matrix composite is exposed to a humid environment or liquid, both the moisture content and material temperature may change with time. These changes usually degrade the mechanical properties of the laminate. The study of water absorption within composites is based on the following parameters as a function of time: [4-26]

The temperature inside the material as a function of position; The moisture concentration inside the material; The total amount (mass) of moisture inside the material; The moisture and temperature induced “hygrothermal” stress inside the material; The dimensional changes of the material; and The mechanical, chemical, thermal or electric changes.

Figure 4-13 Time Varying
Figure 4-13
Time Varying

Environmental Conditions in a Multilayered Composite

[Springer, Environmental Ef- fects on Composite Materials]

To determine the physical changes within a composite

laminate, the temperature

distribution and moisture

content must be determined. When temperature varies across the thickness only and equilibrium is quickly achieved, the moisture and temperature distribution process is called “Fickian” diffusion, which is analogous to Fourier's equation for heat conduction. Figure 4-13 illustrates some of the key parameters used to describe the Fickian diffusion process in a multilayered composite. The letter T refers to temperature and the letter C refers to moisture concentration.

Fick's second law of diffusion can be represented in terms of three principal axes by the following differential equation: [4-27]

c

c

c

c

t

x

x

x

=

D

+

D

+

D

(4-7)

Figure 4-14 shows the change in moisture content, M, versus the square root of time. The apparent plateau is characteristic of Fickian predictions, although experimental procedures have shown behavior that varies from this. Additional water absorption has been attributed to the relaxation of the polymer matrix under the influence of swelling stresses. [4-28] Figure 4-15 depicts some experimental results from investigations conducted at elevated temperatures.

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Chapter Four

PERFORMANCE

Chapter Four PERFORMANCE Figure 4-14 Laminate Water Absorbtion Kinetics for Experi- mental Laminate Specimens [Pritchard, The

Figure 4-14

Laminate Water Absorbtion Kinetics for Experi-

mental Laminate Specimens [Pritchard, The Use of Water Ab-

sorbtion Kinetic Data to Predict Laminate Property Changes]

Chapter Four PERFORMANCE Figure 4-14 Laminate Water Absorbtion Kinetics for Experi- mental Laminate Specimens [Pritchard, The

Figure 4-15

Time Varying Environmental Conditions in a Multi-

layered Composite [Springer, Environmental Effects on Com- posite Materials]

Structural designers are primarily interested in the long term degradation of mechanical properties when composites are immersed in water. By applying curve-fitting programs to experimental data, extrapolations about long term behavior can be postulated. [4-28] Figure 4-16 depicts a 25 year prediction of shear strength for glass polyester specimens dried after immersion. Strength values eventually level off at about 60% of their original value, with the degradation process accelerated at higher temperatures. Figure 4-17 shows similar data for wet tensile strength. Experimental data at the higher temperatures is in relative agreement for the first three years.

Table 4-1 shows the apparent maximum moisture content and the transverse diffusivities for two polyester and one vinyl ester E-glass laminate. The numerical designation refers to fiber content by weight.

The water content of laminates cannot be compared directly with cast resin water contents,

since

the

fibers

generally

do

not

absorb

water.

Water

is

concentrated

in

the

resin

(approximately 75% by volume for bidirectional laminates and 67% by volume for

unidirectionals). [4-28]

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Water Absorbtion

Marine Composites

Water Absorbtion Marine Composites Figure 4-16 Change of Moisture Con- tent with the Square Root of

Figure 4-16

Change of Moisture Con-

tent with the Square Root of Time for

“Fickian” Diffusion [Springer, Environ-

mental Effects on Composite Materials]

Figure 4-17 Predicted Dry Shear Strength versus Square Root of Immer- sion Time [Pritchard, The Use of Water

Absorbtion Kinetic Data to Predict Lami- nate Property Changes]

Table 4-1 Apparent Maximum Moisture Content and Transverse Diffusivities of Some Polyester E-Glass and Vinyl Ester Laminates

[Springer, Environmental Effects on Composite Materials]

Substance

Temp

Maximum Moisture Content*

Transverse Diffusivity

(°C)

SMC-R2

5

VE SMC-R50 SMC-R50

SMC-R25 VE SMC-R50 SMC-R50

50% Humidity

 
  • 23 0.13

    • 0.17 0.10

  • 10.0 10.0

30.0

 
  • 93 0.10

    • 0.10 0.22

  • 50.0 50.0

30.0

100%

 
  • 23 0.63

    • 1.00 1.35

  • 10.0 5.0

9.0

Humidity

 
  • 93 0.40

    • 0.30 0.56

  • 50.0 50.0

50.0

Salt Water

 
  • 23 0.50

    • 0.85 1.25

  • 10.0 5.0

15.0

 
  • 93 0.75

    • 2.90 1.20

  • 5.0 30.0

80.0

Diesel Fuel

 
  • 23 0.19

    • 0.29 0.45

  • 6.0 5.0

5.0

 
  • 93 0.45

    • 2.80 1.00

  • 6.0 10.0

5.0

Lubricating Oil

 
  • 23 0.20

    • 0.25 0.30

  • 10.0 10.0

10.0

 
  • 93 0.10

    • 0.60 0.25

  • 10.0 10.0

10.0

Antifreeze

 
  • 23 0.30

    • 0.45 0.65

  • 50.0 30.0

20.0

 
  • 93 3.50

    • 4.25 2.25

5.0

0.8

10.0

*Values given in percent Values given are D 22 x 10 7 mm 2 /sec

 

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