Studies on Woven Carbon/Vinyl Ester Composites: Environmental Effects, Joining and Hybridization

Ricardo Garcia Delgado, University of Texas at El Paso


The incessant demand for fiber reinforced polymer composites, or FRPCs, in industrial applications which desire materials that possess high strength-to-weight ratios, generates a theory-to-practice void which must be filled with scientific research. In this thesis, woven carbon/vinyl ester composites are studied under a wide spectrum of settings and conditions. The adverse effects of sea water environment and arctic temperatures on such mentioned composites are explored in the form of moisture uptake, impact on flexural modulus, strength and structural damage. It was found that sea water saturation in general degrades the flexural strength up to 19.45%, and arctic exposure and combined condition increase the flexural strength by about 23.1% and 36.2%, respectively. In addition, the fatigue life of woven FRPCs is investigated under dry and saturated conditions and was found to significantly decrease when moisture content was at maximum state. Furthermore, the use of polymer additive manufacturing technology for imparting texture to bond regions in adhesively bonded joints is also explored. An improvement in the apparent shear strength values of adhesively bonded single lap joints is achieved by fusing structural reinforcements to the adherents through fused deposition modeling (FDM) additive technique, increasing the occurrence of cohesive failure over adhesive failure. Lastly, the compressive and impact response of carbon fiber composites with fly ash interlaminar embedding (FoamPosites) is analyzed, resulting in a density reduction of up to 12.58% without severely compromising the structural integrity of the material system.

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering

Recommended Citation

Delgado, Ricardo Garcia, "Studies on Woven Carbon/Vinyl Ester Composites: Environmental Effects, Joining and Hybridization" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10619897.