Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Polyester composite water uptake and organic contaminant release affected by carbon nanofiber reinforcements



Aaron M. Forster, Maryam Salehi, Kuang-Ting Hsiao, Andrew J. Whelton


The incorporation of carbon nanofiber (CNF) into glass fiber (GF) composites is a potential route to extending the life of water conveyance piping. Mechanical properties can be enhanced by the inclusion of CNF into polyester-GF composites, but limited information concerning water uptake and contaminant release properties, especially under non-static conditions is available. Three different polyester composites were investigated: CNF, GF, and GF/CNF. These were compared to a polyester only sample. Specimens were immersed in water for 30 days under nominal pressure at 23 °C, below the polymer's glass-transition temperature. Water changes were conducted every three days to simulate regeneration of water chemistry which is similar to exposures in flowing systems. Composite mass and water quality were monitored for organic contaminant release. GF incorporation reduced water absorption due to the reduction in the resin volume fraction in the composite. The addition of CNF increased the water sorption capacity of all composites. There was a statistically significant correlation between the total mass of organic contaminant released and the amount of water sorbed by each composite (r2 = 0.91). The greatest and least contaminant leaching rates, on a resin mass basis, were found for P/CNF and P/GF, respectively. Leaching rates for P/O and P/GF/CNF composites were similar on a resin mass basis. A small fraction of organic contaminants released during the first exposure period were biodegradable. Several volatile aromatic resin solvents and stabilizer compounds were detected in composite contact waters during Day 3 and Day 30 exposures.
Composites Science and Technology


water, pipe, nanofiber, fiber reinforced, FRP, plastic pipe


Forster, A. , Salehi, M. , Hsiao, K. and Whelton, A. (2016), Polyester composite water uptake and organic contaminant release affected by carbon nanofiber reinforcements, Composites Science and Technology (Accessed July 18, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created January 1, 2016, Updated March 6, 2023