When a composite laminate is subjected to humidity, moisture diffusion occurs depending on the number and thickness of the lamina. Water diffusion changes the mechanical response of laminates and usually causes a significant reduction of the mechanical properties of the composite specimens in ocean structures. One of the most important mechanical properties of laminates is flexural stiffness which should be considered in the design procedure. Despite the extensive research on single cycle aging of composites, cyclic aging of these materials is less explored. The aim of the current research is to investigate the variation of mechanical properties of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) and glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites as a substrate in adhesive joints with the same initial flexural stiffness values subjected to cyclic wet/dry aging conditions for long-term structural applications. The matrix used in the CFRP and GFRP composites are based on epoxy and vinyl ester, respectively. Both unaged and cyclically aged samples were characterized by tensile and three-point bending tests. In order to simulate the moisture absorption condition of composites in adhesive joints, one side of the composite laminates was sealed with aluminum foils and three sides were exposed to humidity. The interaction between the composite thickness and the number of aging cycles was also investigated. The experimental results show that in cyclic aging condition, the reduction of flexural stiffness in CFRP is more than GFRP laminates and GFRP laminates is more suitable for ocean applications.
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- Composite laminate
- cyclic aging
- tensile and flexural properties
- water diffusion