Flexural Behavior of Cross-Ply Thermally Aged Bismaleimide Composites


Thermal aging in oxidative environments is a critical degradation mechanism for polymer composites in aerospace applications. After degradation, the composite strength is reduced and the working life is shortened. In the present work, thermal-oxidation effects on the bending behavior were studied experimentally and numerically. A cross-ply laminate was manufactured using, IM7G/AR4550, a unidirectional bismaleimide prepreg system. Thermal aging experiments were conducted in air at 176.7 °C (350 °F) for 1,700 hours. Weight loss of the samples was monitored during aging and three-point bending test was performed to characterize thermal oxidation impact on the bending behavior. 3D transient coupled diffusion-reaction simulations were conducted based on representative volume elements (RVE) using COMSOL Multiphysics. Three-point bending test was simulated using ABAQUS taking the effect of the transient oxidation growth and degradation into consideration. Thermal aging for 1,700 hours resulted in a weight loss of 0.5 % and a reduction of 19 % in the flexural modulus of the samples. Weight loss and flexural modulus simulation results showed a good match with the experimental findings.

Meeting Name

Composites and Advanced Materials Expo 2016, CAMX 2016 (2016: Sep. 26-29, Anaheim, CA)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center

Keywords and Phrases

Aerospace applications; Degradation; Laminated composites; Oxidation; Thermal aging; Thermooxidation; Bismaleimide composites; Composite strength; Comsol multiphysics; Degradation mechanism; Oxidative environment; Representative volume element (RVE); Three-point bending test; Transient oxidations; Steam turbines

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2016 The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2016

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