Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Effects of moisture ingression on polymeric laminate composites and its prevention via highly robust barrier films

  • 185 Accesses

  • 13 Citations


Three different fiber-reinforced composite test laminates were laid up using carbon-, glass-, and Kevlar-reinforced epoxy prepregs, and then four different hydrophobic barrier films were placed as the out-of-most ply (last ply) on top of the test laminates. The prepared samples were co-cured through an autoclave per recommended cure cycles. These hydrophobic barrier films included polyether ether ketone or PEEK (12.7- and 25.4-μm thicknesses), polytetrafluoroethylene or Teflon (25.4 μm), and polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) or Tedlar (25.4 μm). Tedlar films have been the only source used for moisture prevention in Aerospace composites, so the purpose of the present study was to determine other alternatives and their moisture ingression prevention characteristics. The tape adhesion tests conducted on the barrier films of the composite panels indicated that PEEK and Tedlar films were well bonded on the composite surfaces, while Teflon films failed the tape adhesion tests. The laminate composites that were co-bonded with barrier films were immersed in water up to 29 days, and then 3-point bend tests were conducted on each sample before and after immersion. Test results show that 25.4-μm thick PEEK and Tedlar films on the carbon, glass, and Kevlar laminate composites provided similar mechanical properties. Also, the laminates incorporated with barrier films exhibited significantly higher mechanical properties when compared to the same laminates without any barrier films. This study indicated that these barrier films considerably reduced moisture ingression into the laminate composite structures, which may be useful for applications in composite aircraft and wind turbines.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Kececi E (2011) Highly durable hydrophobic thin films for moisture prevention of composite structures for aerospace applications. Ph.D. Dissertation, Wichita State University

  2. 2.

    Menail Y, El Mahi A, Assarar M, Redjel B, Kondratas A (2009) The effects of water aging on the mechanical properties of glass-fiber and kevlar-fiber epoxy composite materials. Mechanika, Technical Report

  3. 3.

    Garton A, Daly JH (1985) The crosslinking of epoxy resins at interfaces. II. At an aromatic polyamide surface. J Polym Sci Polym Chem Ed 23:1031–1041

  4. 4.

    Abot JL, Yasmin A, Daniel MI (2005) Hygroscopic behavior of woven fabric carbon-epoxy composites. J Reinf Plast Compos 24:195–207

  5. 5.

    Browning CE, Husman CE, Whitney JM (1978) Moisture effects in epoxy matrix composite. Air Force Materials Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, Technical Report AFML-TR-77-17

  6. 6.

    Morgan B, Madhukar M, Walsh J, Hooker M, Grandlienard S (2010) Moisture degradation of cyanate ester/S2 glass composite insulation systems. J Compos Mater 44:821–837

  7. 7.

    Shi B, Hinderliter BR, Croll SG (2010) Environmental and time dependence of moisture transportation in an epoxy coating and its significance for accelerated weathering. J Coat Technol Res 7:419–430

  8. 8.

    Earl JS, Shendi RA (2004) Determination of the moisture uptake mechanism in closed cell polymeric structural foam during hydrothermal exposure. J Compos Mater 38:1345–1365

  9. 9.

    Thellen C, Rattlo A (2009) Influence of moisture on the mechanical and barrier properties of multilayer aromatic polyamide nanocomposite films. ANTEC – Conference Proceedings, Society of Plastics Engineers, pp. 225–230

  10. 10.

    BASF Corporation (2003) Effects of moisture conditioning methods on mechanical properties of injection molded nylon 6. Technical Report, New Jersey, 6 pages

  11. 11.

    Asmatulu R, Ceylan M, Nuraje N (2011) Study of superhydrophobic electrospun nanocomposite fibers for energy systems. Langmuir 27:504–507

  12. 12.

    Nuraje N, Asmatulu R, Cohen RE, Rubner MF (2011) Mechanically durable and permanent anti-Fog films via layer-by-layer approach. Langmuir 27:782–791

  13. 13.

    Nuraje N, Khan WK, Ceylan M, Lie Y, Asmatulu R (2013) Superhydrophobic electrospun nanofibers. J Mater Chem A 1:1929–1946

  14. 14.

    Kececi E (2011) Effects of hydrophobic barrier films on the mechanical properties of fiber reinforced composites immersed in water. ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Denver, CO, November 11–17, 7 pages

  15. 15.

    ASTM Standard D 3359–09 (2006) Standard test methods for measuring adhesion by tape test

  16. 16.

    ASTM B117-09 (2009) Standard practice for operating salt spray (fog) apparatus

  17. 17.

    ASTM D 2344 (2006) Standard test methods for short beam strength of polymer matrix composite materials and their laminates

  18. 18.

    Odian G (1991) Principles of polymerization, 3rd edn. J. Willey, New York

  19. 19.

    Roe N, Huo Z, Chandrashekhara K, Buchok A, Brack RA (2013) Advanced moisture modeling of polymer composites. J Compos Mater 32:437–449

  20. 20.

    Zhang B, Patlolla VR, Chiao D, Kalla DK, Misak H, Asmatulu R (2013) Galvanic corrosion of al/cu meshes with carbon fibers and graphene and ITO-based nanocomposite coatings as alternative approaches for lightning strikes. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 67:1317–1323

  21. 21.

    Azmi AI, Lin RJT, Bhattacharyya D (2013) Machinability study of glass fiber-reinforced polymer composites during end milling. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 64:247–261

  22. 22.

    Product and performance guide for Tedlar® PVF film in the flexible sign and awning market. DuPont, Technical Report, 1995, 6 pages

  23. 23.

    Pilli SP, Simmons KL, Holbery JD, Shutthanandan V, Stickler PB, Smith LV (2009) A novel accelerated moisture absorption test and characterization. Compos Part A 40:1501–1505

  24. 24.

    Hameed N, Thomas SP, Abraham R, Thomas S (2007) Morphology and contact angle studies of poly modified epoxy resin blends and their glass fiber reinforced composites. eXPRESS Polym Lett 1:345–355

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to R. Asmatulu.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kececi, E., Asmatulu, R. Effects of moisture ingression on polymeric laminate composites and its prevention via highly robust barrier films. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 73, 1657–1664 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-014-5974-5

Download citation


  • Carbon, Kevlar, and glass fibers
  • Moisture-barrier films
  • Mechanical properties