Polymers, Vol. 10, Pages 845: Coupled Hygro-Mechanical Finite Element Method on Determination of the Interlaminar Shear Modulus of Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Laminates in Bridge Decks under Hygrothermal Aging Effects

Research paper by Xu Jiang, Chengwei Luo, Xuhong Qiang, Qilin Zhang, Henk Kolstein, Frans Bijlaard

Indexed on: 04 Aug '18Published on: 01 Aug '18Published in: Polymers


To investigate the mechanical degradation of the shear properties of glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) laminates in bridge decks under hygrothermal aging effects, short-beam shear tests were performed following the ASTM test standard (ASTM D790-10A). Based on the coupled hygro-mechanical finite element (FE) analysis method, an inverse parameter identification approach based on short-beam shear tests was developed and then employed to determine the environment-dependent interlaminar shear modulus of GFRP laminates. Subsequently, the shear strength and modulus of dry (0% Mt/M∞), moisture unsaturated (30% Mt/M∞ and 50% Mt/M∞), and moisture saturated (100% Mt/M∞) specimens at test temperatures of both 20 °C and 40 °C were compared. One cycle of the moisture absorption–desorption process was also investigated to address how the moisture-induced residual damage degrades the shear properties of GFRP laminates. The results revealed that the shear strength and modulus of moisture-saturated GFRP laminates decreased significantly, and the elevated testing temperature (40 °C) aggravated moisture-induced mechanical degradation. Moreover, an unrecoverable loss of shear properties for the GFRP laminates enduring one cycle of the moisture absorption–desorption process was evident.