Glass fibre reinforced vinylester resin composites incorporating varying amounts of fibres (63.5, 55.75, 48.48, 38.63 and 27.48 wt%) were characterized for their mechanical properties both as prepared and after treatment with boiling water for 2, 4, 6, 8 and 24 h. Weights of the samples were found to increase to a saturation at about 8 h with boiling water treatment.
In keeping with the composite principle, the mechanical properties improved with fibre loading. However, the properties were relatively inferior when treated with boiling water for longer hours attributing to ingress of moisture by capillary action through the interface between the fibre and the resin matrix. Considering the rates of moisture absorption and correlating with the mechanical properties, it was observed that the deteriorating effects were predominant up to 4 h treatment with boiling water. Estimation of defect concentrations for 63.5 wt% of nascent fibre reinforced composites as well as those composites treated with boiling water for 24 h were 56.93% and 64.16% respectively. Similarly, 27.48 wt% nascent fibre reinforced composites and those composites with boiling water treatment showed the estimation of defect concentrations of 39.94% and 50.55% respectively. SEM study of the fractured surfaces showed heavy fibre pull-out in the tensile zone whilst shear fracture of the fibre bundles was predominant at the compressive zone of the samples tested for flexural strength properties.
Volume 43, 2020
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