In recent years, the use of fiber-reinforced polymer composites in civil infrastructure has been promoted as a solution to the deterioration of bridges, buildings, and other structures composed of traditional materials, such as steel, concrete, and wood. Any application of a polymer composite in an outdoor environment invariably involves exposure to moisture. There is also potential for exposure to saline conditions in waterfront or offshore structures, and alkaline environments, as would be encountered by a reinforcing bar in a cementitious material. This study characterizes sorption and transport of distilled water, salt solution, and a simulated concrete pore solution in free films of vinyl ester, isophthalic polyester (isopolyester) and epoxy resins, all commercially important materials for use in structural composites. Diffusion of all three liquids in each of the three materials was observed to follow a Fickian process. Mass loss was observed for the isopolyester in salt water and concrete pore solution at 60 C, suggesting hydrolysis that was accelerated by the high temperature exposure. Both the rate of uptake, as well as the equilibrium uptake, were greater at 60 C, compared with ambient conditions. Diffusion coefficients calculated from the mass uptake data revealed that, although the epoxy resin had the highest equilibrium uptake, it had the lowest dissusion coefficient.
Citation: Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Pub Type: Journals
composite materials, concrete pore solution, diffusion, epoxy, polyester, saltwater, vinyl ester, water