Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Engineering Science

First Advisor

James G. Vaughan

Second Advisor

John O'Haver

Third Advisor

Ellen Lackey

Relational Format



American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) reported in 2009 that the four major sectors currently utilizing fiber reinforced polymers (FRP) are construction, corrosion, marine, and transportation in descending order of total FRP shipped. All of these sectors are known to be billion dollar industries and they are all involved with applications subjected to freezing and thawing. FRP encompass many characteristics that are beneficial to these sectors and also in resisting this exposure. ASTM International has yet not developed a standard to test FRP materials resistance to freeze-thaw (FT) cycling exposure. The D20.18.02 committee of the ASTM is in the process of creating a test standard for freeze-thawing of FRP and has developed a draft standard. This study was conducted to assist in the development of this standard. A pultruded mat and roving E-glass reinforced polyester with aluminum tri hydroxide (ATH) filler was used. Three sample batches were subjected to FT-cycling. Two sample batches were subjected to manual FT-cycling; one was exposed to 30 days of initial moisture exposure (30W-samples) and the other to 60 days (60W-samples). The third sample batch was exposed to 30 days of initial moisture exposure and automatic FT-cycling through the use of a programmable temperature chamber (30TC-samples). The samples were first conditioned in distilled water at 23°C (77°F) for 30 days. Secondly they were exposed to a total of 100 FT-cycles each 6 hours long consisting of 3 hour of thawing in distilled water at 23°C and 3 hours of dry freezing at ?20°C (?4°F). The ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of three sample batches was determined through ASTM D638 upon the completion of the 100 FT-cycles. The results from the three test environments shosimilar degradation. The percent reductions in the samples mean UTS of the 30W-, 60W-, and 30TC-samples was found to be 21.0%, 17.6%, and 19.1%, respectively. The test parameters were evaluated by implementing several sample batches and through the use of the preliminary research conducted. Contributions to the development of the draft from the D20.18.02 committee were made based on these findings and are presented in this study.



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