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Polymers 2017, 9(3), 94; doi:10.3390/polym9030094

Monitoring Moisture Damage Propagation in GFRP Composites Using Carbon Nanoparticles

Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute, Nasr City, Cairo 11727, Egypt
Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Giza 12613, Egypt
Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mohamed Khayet
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 22 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites are widely used in infrastructure applications including water structures due to their relatively high durability, high strength to weight ratio, and non-corrosiveness. Here we demonstrate the potential use of carbon nanoparticles dispersed during GFRP composite fabrication to reduce water absorption of GFRP and to enable monitoring of moisture damage propagation in GFRP composites. GFRP coupons incorporating 2.0 wt % carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and 2.0 wt % multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were fabricated in order to study the effect of moisture damage on mechanical properties of GFRP. Water absorption tests were carried out by immersing the GFRP coupons in a seawater bath at two temperatures for a time period of three months. Effects of water immersion on the mechanical properties and glass transition temperature of GFRP were investigated. Furthermore, moisture damage in GFRP was monitored by measuring the electrical conductivity of the GFRP coupons. It was shown that carbon nanoparticles can provide a means of self-sensing that enables the monitoring of moisture damage in GFRP. Despite the success of the proposed technique, it might not be able to efficiently describe moisture damage propagation in GFRP beyond a specific threshold because of the relatively high electrical conductivity of seawater. Microstructural investigations using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) explained the significance of seawater immersion time and temperature on the different levels of moisture damage in GFRP. View Full-Text
Keywords: moisture damage; glass fiber composites; monitoring moisture damage; glass fiber composites; monitoring

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Al-Sabagh, A.; Taha, E.; Kandil, U.; Awadallah, A.; Nasr, G.-A.M.; Reda Taha, M. Monitoring Moisture Damage Propagation in GFRP Composites Using Carbon Nanoparticles. Polymers 2017, 9, 94.

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