Date of Award

5-2005

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

Roberto Lopez-Anido

Second Committee Member

William Davids

Third Committee Member

Douglas Gardner

Abstract

In the design and construction of waterfront structures, there is a need for development of a corrosion resistant, lightweight, cost effective and environmentally friendly structural material. Hybrid wood-plastic composite (WPC) - fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) structural members would be corrosion resistant, and relatively lightweight (WPC-FRP). An additional advantage is that the WPC portion can be produced from recycled plastics and wood residuals. To use WPC in structural applications a better understanding of the material properties and behavior under sustained loads must be obtained. In this paper, a static and long term experimental program is presented with coupon and full size WPC samples. Coupon testing in tension, compression, and shear is conducted with the aid of a 3-D digital image correlation (DIC) system which allows a full field, non-contact measurement of strains on the material's surface. Full size, hybrid WPC-FRP members are also characterized experimentally in bending. This experimental response is used to generate and verify a non-linear model for long-term material behavior.

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