Chemical and Materials Engineering Vol. 1(1), pp. 8 - 17
DOI: 10.13189/cme.2013.010102
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Mode I Fracture Toughness of Aerospace Polymer Composites Exposed to Fresh and Salt Water

André Couture1, Jeremy Laliberte1,*, Chun Li2
1 Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6
2 Aerospace Portfolio, National Research Council Canada, 1200 Montreal Rd., Ottawa ON K1A 0R6


With the increasing use of polymer matrix composites (PMCs) in aircraft structures, there is a need to improve the understanding of the long-term environmental durability of these advanced materials. Unlike metals, where one of the primary mechanisms of degradation is corrosion, polymer composite structures are susceptible to environmental degradation in different ways. In order to better understand these effects, an investigation into the influence of temperature, humidity and salinity on Mode I fracture toughness of adhesively bonded joints in PMCs was carried out. The objective of this study was to build an improved understanding of composite degradation mechanisms that may affect long-term performance of composite structures. Double Cantilever Beam (DCB) specimens were manufactured by bonding carbon fibre/epoxy laminates with epoxy film adhesive and then exposed to seven different environmental conditions including. The Mode I strain energy release rate, GIC, was measured and the effect of different conditions on the disband behavior was identified.

Polymer composite, salt water exposure, mode I fracture toughness, bonded joints

Cite this paper
André Couture , Jeremy Laliberte , Chun Li (2013). Mode I Fracture Toughness of Aerospace Polymer Composites Exposed to Fresh and Salt Water. Chemical and Materials Engineering, 1 , 8 - 17. doi: 10.13189/cme.2013.010102.