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Impact damage behaviour of composite materials after long-term exposure to a hygrothermal environment pp.913-932 $100.00
Authors:  (K. Berketis, D. Tzetzis, Spectrum Labs SA, Greece, and others)
This paper analyses the changes in the impact damage behaviour of composites as a
function of the degradation mechanisms caused by water immersion at elevated
temperatures. The effect of different types of reinforcement architecture, woven and noncrimped
glass fabric, in polyester matrix flat composite plates was evaluated
experimentally. To accelerate the degradation rate, undamaged and impact damaged
specimens were immersed in water baths for up to 30 months at 43 C, 65 C and 93 C.
Low-velocity impact, at three energy levels of 2.5 J, 5 J and 10 J, was employed either
preceding or following water immersion in order to investigate the differences of the
impact energy absorption.
The results have shown that increasing the water immersion temperature caused an
increase in the degradation rate of all materials under study. Extended matrix dissolution
and interfacial damage appeared on the specimens following prolonged water immersion
while a multi-stage absorption profile was observed especially at 65 C regardless of the
reinforcement architecture type. Dynamic Thermal Mechanical Analysis was performed
that has shown matrix plasticizing effects at 43 C and some post-curing effects at 65 C
and 93 C. Low velocity normal impact at various immersion time intervals did not
increase considerably the in-plane delamination damage size but produced gradually a
greater density of through thickness damage. The impact energy absorption after water
immersion was found to increase as a function of the immersion time. An Environmental
Damage Accumulation Metric (EDAM) was formulated linking the degradation state
caused by a given water immersion period with the loss of the elastic impact component
during the impact event, acting as a metric of the penetration limit. 

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Impact damage behaviour of composite materials after long-term exposure to a hygrothermal environment pp.913-932