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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 352639, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/352639
Research Article

Experimental Investigation on the Durability of Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites Containing Nanocomposite

1Shenzhen Durability Center for Civil Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518000, China
2Nano and Advanced Materials Institute Limited, Hong Kong, China

Received 4 May 2013; Accepted 30 September 2013

Academic Editor: Zhi Li Xiao

Copyright © 2013 Weiwen Li et al. 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.

Abstract

Nanoclay layers incorporated into polymer/clay nanocomposites can inhibit the harmful penetration of water and chemicals into the material, and thus the durability of glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites should be enhanced by using polymer/clay nanocomposite as the matrix material. In this study, 1.5 wt% vinyl ester (VE)/organoclay and 2 wt% epoxy (EP)/organoclay nanocomposites were prepared by an in situ polymerization method. The dispersion states of clay in the nanocomposites were studied by performing XRD analysis. GFRP composites were then fabricated with the prepared 1.5 wt% VE/clay and 2.0 wt% EP/clay nanocomposites to investigate the effects of a nanocomposite matrix on the durability of GFRP composites. The durability of the two kinds of GFRP composites was characterized by monitoring tensile properties following degradation of GFRP specimens aged in water and alkaline solution at 60°C, and SEM was employed to study fracture behaviors of aged GFRP composites under tension. The results show that tensile properties of the two types of GFRP composites with and without clay degrade significantly with aging time. However, the GFRP composites with nanoclay show a lower degradation rate compared with those without nanoclay, supporting the aforementioned hypothesis. And the modification of EP/GFRP enhanced the durability more effectively.