Date of Award

8-2005

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Habib J. Dagher

Second Committee Member

Roberto A. Lopez-Anido

Third Committee Member

Michael L. Peterson

Additional Committee Members

Lawrence Thompson

Abstract

It was found that there is significant variability in physical and mechanical properties of marine composites among different manufacturers resulting in inconsistent parameters for structural analysis and design. Experimental variability can be classified in two main groups: 1) variability from experimental preparation and testing techniques and 2) variability from the material constituents and manufacturing process. The objective of the thesis is to resolve the uncertainty surrounding mechanical properties obtained from conventional standard testing by optimizing the testing procedure used in obtaining the material properties of marine FRP composites. A series of ASTM standard test procedures for each material property (tensile, compressive, and shear) are conducted using a 3D digital image correlation system for measuring full-field strains. Glass transition temperature, fiber volume fraction, and density will be measured using ASTM standard tests. The study will lead to drafting material testing specifications to be used in obtaining reliable mechanical and physical properties for FRP composites used in structural applications. Finally, the testing program will be accompanied with a micromechanics analysis that will be used to characterize the FRP properties using an array of techniques. The micromechanics analysis will be used to explain the results of the material coupon tests and characterize the variability in the tests.

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