Phenomenological modelling of long-term failure of polymers

Due to mechanical properties and low density, fibre reinforced polymers have a commercial importance for a variety of load-bearing applications. Judicious combination of polymer matrix and fibres can have a significant effect on both static and dynamic failure resistance. The most important problem encountered in these load-bearing applications is that all polymers eventually display time-dependent failure; it is not the question whether failure will occur, but rather on what time-scale. Hence, in order to prevent premature failure, it is of the utmost importance to be able to predict long-term failure that inevitably limits the performance of an application. Full scale testing of actual products is time and effort consuming, hampering product optimisation. In this project experimental and numerical methods, tools and protocols will be developed allowing fast and reliable prediction of the product lifetime taking into account processing conditions and anisotropy induced by fibre orientation.

Research type: Experimental/modelling