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Modeling composite high temperature behaviour and fire response under load
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Professor Geoff Gibson
Professor Adrian Mouritz
Gibson AG, Browne TNA, Feih S, Mouritz AP
Journal of Composite Materials
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This paper discusses the characterization and modeling of thermoplastic and thermosetting matrix composites under load in fire. Small-scale tests were found to provide a cost-effective means of characterizing load-bearing behavior of composites in fire and a useful framework for materials development. This paper demonstrates the modeling of thermal and decomposition behavior during the test and the extension of this modeling to include mechanical response and failure behavior. The work necessitated measurement of strength and stiffness over a wide temperature range, with interesting results up to the point of resin decomposition. The approach was applied to three 12 mm thick glass reinforced systems: vinyl ester, polyester, and polypropylene. The laminates were subjected to a one-sided 50 kW·m−2 heat flux, using a propane burner. Thermal behavior was modeled using a simplified version of the Henderson equation to predict the evolution of temperature and residual resin content through the thickness. These parameters were then used, along with a material model, to predict the mechanical response in fire.
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