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Modeling and experimental studies of thermal degradation of glass fiber reinforced polymer composites

Authors

  • Marvin Tsoi,

    1. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA
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  • Jinfeng Zhuge,

    1. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA
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  • Ruey-Hung Chen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA
    • Correspondence to: Ruey-Hung Chen, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32816-2450, USA.

      E-mail: chenrh@ucf.edu

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  • Jihua Gou

    1. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA
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ABSTRACT

This study developed a numerical model that simulated the degradation rate and temperature profiles of a glass fiber reinforced polyester resin composite exposed to a constant heat flux in a cone calorimeter. By considering the thermal properties of the composite structure consisting of alternating layers of pure polymer and polymer-infused glass fiber mat, the numerical model seeks to reproduce the experimental data from the cone calorimeter test. The final results are achieved through adding a simulated heat flux from the pilot ignition of the degraded gas of the polyester resin. The good agreement between the predicted and experimental results suggests that such models are cost-saving tools over the process of designing and manufacturing of composites for meeting fire safety requirements, without having to fabricate many samples for testing and final selection. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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