The effect of rubber micro-particles and silica nano-particles on the tensile fatigue behaviour of a glass-fibre epoxy composite
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Fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) matrix composites are widely used in airframe structural components. Although composites offer good and useful structural properties, they are brittle. Indeed, the commonly employed thermosetting epoxy matrices typically have a poor resistance to crack initiation and growth. Therefore, efforts have been made to improve the mechanical properties of the epoxy polymeric matrix, and thereby the properties of FRPs, through the incorporation of second-phase particles in the resin matrix [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. The addition of micrometre-sized rubber particles [1, 2, 3] and, more recently, nano-sized silica (SiO2) particles [4, 5, 6, 7, 8], into an epoxy polymer have been shown to improve the fracture energy of bulk epoxies by up to 10–15 times, without significantly impairing their other desirable engineering properties . FRPs based upon such particle-reinforced matrices have also shown a remarkable improvement in their interlaminar fracture...
KeywordsFatigue Fatigue Life Fatigue Limit Epoxy Matrix Stiffness Reduction
Dr. CM Manjunatha wishes to thank and acknowledge the United Kingdom–India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) for awarding the Research Fellowship and Dr. AR Upadhya, Director, National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore, India, for permitting him to accept the fellowship.
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