Development of beneficial residual stresses in glass fiber epoxy composites through fiber prestressing

Academic Article

Abstract

  • The undesired residual stresses in fiber reinforced polymer composites are developed during their manufacturing processes due to the thermal and chemical shrinkage of the polymer matrix, which negatively affect the performance of the composites. Applying tensile stress to the reinforcement fibers during the curing of the matrix can reduce or eliminate the undesired residual stresses. Furthermore, the undesired tensile residual stress within the matrix can be replaced with beneficial compressive residual stress which can improve the mechanical properties of the composites. In this study, theoretical stress analysis was performed in order to determine the value of the optimum compressive residual stress that is associated with the highest tensile strength. This value was determined based on the tensile testing result of prestressed composites with a 40% fiber volume fraction. For the composites with different fiber volume fractions, a new approach was introduced to estimate the optimum fiber prestressing level which generates the optimum compressive residual stress within the matrix and consequently, the highest tensile strength can be achieved. In order to validate this approach experimentally, prestressed composites with 25 and 30% fiber volume fraction were prepared by applying the estimated optimum fiber prestressing levels during curing of matrix and tensile testing was performed. The result of the stress analysis showed that the value of the optimum compressive residual stress corresponding to the highest tensile strength is 2.5 MPa approximately. The tensile testing results confirmed the validity of the new approach in estimating the optimum fiber prestressing level for the composites with different fiber volume fractions. For both prestressed composites with 25 and 30% fiber volume fraction, the highest tensile strength was achieved when the theoretically estimated optimum fiber prestressing level was applied to the fibers during the curing of the matrix.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mohamed M; Brahma S; Ning H; Pillay S
  • Start Page

  • 487
  • End Page

  • 498
  • Volume

  • 39
  • Issue

  • 13-14