Influence of moisture absorption/desorption on the flexural properties of Glass-fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP) laminates was experimentally investigated under hot/wet aging environments. To characterize mechanical degradation, three-point bending tests were performed following the ASTM test standard (ASTM D790-10A). The flexural properties of dry (0% Mt/M∞), moisture unsaturated (30% Mt/M∞ and 50% Mt/M∞) and moisture saturated (100% Mt/M∞) specimens at both 20 and 40 °C test temperatures were compared. One cycle of moisture absorption-desorption process was considered in this study to investigate the mechanical degradation scale and the permanent damage of GFRP laminates induced by moisture diffusion. Experimental results confirm that the combination of moisture and temperature effects sincerely deteriorates the flexural properties of GFRP laminates, on both strength and stiffness. Furthermore, the reducing percentage of flexural strength is found much larger than that of E-modulus. Unrecoverable losses of E-modulus (15.0%) and flexural strength (16.4%) for the GFRP laminates experiencing one cycle of moisture absorption/desorption process are evident at the test temperature of 40 °C, but not for the case of 20 °C test temperature. Moreover, a coupled hygro-mechanical Finite Element (FE) model was developed to characterize the mechanical behaviors of GFRP laminates at different moisture absorption/desorption stages, and the modeling method was subsequently validated with flexural test results.
- Bridge deck
- Coupled hygro-mechanical numerical analysis
- Environmental degradation
- Glass fibre reinforced polymer
- Mechanical property