Keywords

Composite materials -- Thermal properties, Fibrous composites -- Thermal properties, Glass fibers -- Thermal properties

Abstract

Composites, though used in a variety of applications from chairs and office supplies to structures of U.S. Navy ships and aircrafts, are not all designed to hold up to extreme heat flux and high temperature. Fiber-reinforced polymeric composites (FRPC) have been proven to provide the much needed physical and mechanical properties under fire exposure. FRPC notable features are its combination of high specific tensile strength, low weight, along with good corrosion and fatigue resistance. However FRPC are susceptible to thermal degradation and decomposition, which yields flammable gas, and are thus highly combustible. This property restricts polymeric material usage. This study developed a numerical model that simulated the degradation rate and temperature profiles of a fiber-reinforced polyester resin composite exposed to a constant heat flux and hydrocarbon fire in a cone calorimeter. A numerical model is an essential tool because it gives the composite designer the ability to predict results in a time and cost efficient manner. The goal of this thesis is to develop a numerical model to simulate a zonal-layer polyester resin and fiberglass mat composite and then validate the model with experimental results from a cone calorimeter. By inputting the thermal properties of the layered composite of alternating polymer and polymer-infused glass fiber mat layers, the numerical model is one step closer to representing the experimental data from the cone calorimeter test. The final results are achieved through adding a simulated heat flux from the pilot ignition of the degraded gas of the polyester resin. The results can be coupled into a mechanical model, which may be separately constructed for future study on the mechanical strength of composites under fire conditions.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2011

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Chen, Ruey-Hung

Degree

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

College

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering; Thermo-Fluids Track

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0004171

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0004171

Language

English

Release Date

December 2011

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic

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