Accelerated ageing of composites – Equipment and experimental protocol design and development


  1. Underhill, R.S.
  2. Chambers, N.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Atlantic Research Centre, Halifax NS (CAN)
Composites have the potential to be lightweight, durable, corrosion- and cavitation-free materials. The technology has been incorporated successfully into aircraft and commercial sea vessels. The Cooperative Research Ships (CRS), Composite Propeller Working Group (COMPROP) is investigating the feasibility of using composites for marine propellers. One aspect of the work is to develop an understanding of how composites age when immersed in seawater for extended periods of time. Ageing can be examined with immersion in real-time, but this is not practical for material screening and selection purposes. One can accelerate ageing by elevating the temperature of the samples, using the principle of time-temperature superposition. This work documents the design and manufacture of an environmental immersion chamber (EIC) for use in accelerated ageing experiments. The second part of this document reports the design and manufacture of extensions for a four-point bend jig that would allow testing of samples up to 455 mm long. The EIC was shown to maintain seawater at 60°C for 24 hours at a tolerance of ±1°C. The four-point bend jig had sufficient capability for deflection for the longest composite samples that will be aged.

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polymer matrix composite;accelerated ageing;composite propeller
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2016-R109 — Scientific Report
Date of publication
01 Aug 2016
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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