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Performance of Hybrid Fiber-reinforced Polymer Nanocomposite pipes Open Access


Other title
Fiber-reinforced composite pipe
Nanocomposite morphology
Polymer nanocomposite
Fracture micromechanism
Mechanical property
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Bashar, Mohammad T
Supervisor and department
Mertiny, Pierre (Mechanical Engineering)
Sundararaj, Uttandaraman (Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary))
Examining committee member and department
Carey, Jason (Mechanical Engineering)
Manas-Zloczower, Ica(Macromolecular Science & Engineering, Case Western Reserve University)
Xia, Zihui (Mechanical Engineering)
Eadie, Reg (Chemical & Materials Engineering)
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Due to their attractive properties, pipes and vessels made from fiber-reinforced polymer composites are increasingly being used for the storage and transmission of pressurized fluids. Yet, the inherent anisotropy and inhomogeneity of fiber-reinforced composites in conjunction with complex loading conditions may result in a variety of failure mechanisms that restrict their application. In composite pipes, structural failure such as burst and collapse is characterized by a fast loss of the contained fluid, whereas functional failure occurs due to transverse matrix micro-cracking that generates interconnected pathways through the pipe thickness allowing for the fluid to escape. Recently, polymer nanocomposites have evolved as a new class of high-performance multifunctional materials that often outperform conventionally filled and unfilled polymers in terms of their properties. In the present study, the effect of nano-reinforcements on matrix micro-cracking in filament-wound composites was investigated. It was hypothesized that transverse matrix cracking in polymer composites can be mitigated by reinforcing the matrix with an appropriate nano-particulate phase. This research work involved the synthesis, characterization and property evaluation of bulk epoxy nanocomposites and hybrid fiber-reinforced epoxy nanocomposites modified with organophilic nanoclay and acrylic triblock-copolymer. The epoxy-clay nanocomposites exhibited superior tensile stiffness with a reduction in ductility. Block-copolymer addition enhanced toughness and ductility of bulk epoxy. The present study further demonstrated that optimal mechanical property enhancements in an epoxy can be achieved through the formation of a ternary nanocomposite incorporating nanoclay and acrylic triblock-copolymer. The presence of nanoparticles in the matrix of fiber-reinforced composites imparted an insignificant effect on delamination fracture toughness, while decreasing fiber volume fraction significantly improved fracture toughness. In block-copolymer modified composite pipes, enhanced matrix ductility caused a build-up of strain energy during applied loading until a sudden release of this energy resulted in the initiation and subsequent propagation of matrix cracks. In response an improvement in leakage failure strain was observed, however the process did not suppress matrix micro-cracking in composite pipes, and failure strength remained unaffected. Strength was even reduced in composite pipes modified with nanoclay, which is thought to stem from nanoclay aggregates that may have acted as stress concentration points expediting micro-crack initiation.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
A version of this chapter has been submitted for publication: BASHAR, M., SUNDARARAJ, U. and MERTINY, P., 2013. Effect of nanoclay structures on fracture behavior of epoxy-clay nanocomposites prepared by different dispersion methods. Journal of Applied Polymer ScienceA version of this chapter has been published as: BASHAR, M.T., SUNDARARAJ, U. and MERTINY, P., 2013. Morphology and mechanical properties of nanostructured acrylic tri-block-copolymer modified epoxy, Polymer Engineering and Science, DOI: 10.1002/pen.23648.A version of this chapter has been published as: BASHAR, M., SUNDARARAJ, U. and MERTINY, P., 2012. Microstructure and mechanical properties of epoxy hybrid nanocomposites modified with acrylic tri-block-copolymer and layered-silicate nanoclay. Composites A, 43(6), pp. 945-954.A version of this chapter has been published as: BASHAR, M., SUNDARARAJ, U. and MERTINY, P., 2013. Mode-I interlaminar fracture behavior of nanoparticle modified epoxy/basalt fibre-reinforced laminates. Polymer Testing, 32(2), pp. 402-412.A version of this chapter has been published as: BASHAR, M., SUNDARARAJ, U. and MERTINY, P., 2011. Study of matrix micro-cracking in nanoclay and acrylic tri-block-copolymer modified epoxy/basalt fiber-reinforced pressure-retaining structures. eXPRESS Polymer Letters, 5(10), pp. 882-896.

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