The aim of this work is to characterize the effects of hygrothermal aging in the plain strain fracture toughness of the epoxy system composed by cycloaliphatic epoxy resin and diglycidyl ether of bisphenol-A (DGEBA). For this, after having been under hygrothermal aging in a climatic chamber, epoxy samples were studied using ASTM D5045 fracture toughness test, and micrography and roughness measurements of the fracture surface. It is reported a rapid decrease of GIc and KIc during the first 2 days. Moreover, a numerical model  was used to simulate and see with more detail the water absorption in the aged samples. From that, it was observed the heterogeneous distribution of water. Accordingly, it was proposed that the results should be correlated with the water content at the vicinity of the crack tip. Consequently, it was possible to obtain, by quasi-static simulations, the ideal load-displacement curves of crack propagation in the heterogeneous samples. Finally, another contribution of this work is the study of the fracture surface, that gives a clue of the relationship among the fracture energy, the appearance of microcracks in the fracture surface, and the roughness (Ra).
|Date of Award
- Physical Sciences and Engineering
|Gilles Lubineau (Supervisor)
- Fracture Mechanics
- Hydrothermal Aging