Hydrothermal ageing of glass fibre reinforced vinyl ester composites : a review

Thomason, James and Xypolias, Georgios (2023) Hydrothermal ageing of glass fibre reinforced vinyl ester composites : a review. Polymers, 15 (4). 835. ISSN 2073-4360 (https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15040835)

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The use of glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites in load carrying constructions has significantly increased over the last decades. Such GFRP composite structures may undergo significant changes in performance as a consequence of long-term environmental exposure. Vinyl ester (VE) resins are a class of thermosetting polymer increasingly being used in such structural composites. This increasing use of VE-based GFRPs in such applications has led to an increasing need to better understand the consequences of long-term environmental exposure on their performance. The reliable validation of the environmental durability new VE-based GFRPs can be a time and resource consuming process involving costly testing programs. Accelerated hydrothermal ageing is often used in these investigations. This paper reviews the relevant literature on the hydrothermal ageing of vinyl ester based GFRP with special attention to the fundamental background of moisture induced ageing of GFRP, the important role of voids, and the fibre-matrix interface, on composite mechanical performance.