The structural properties of glassfibre reinforced plastics

Al-Khayatt, Q.J. (1974). The structural properties of glassfibre reinforced plastics. PHD thesis, Aston University.

Abstract

The research work described in this thesis is concerned with the development of glassfibre reinforced plastics for structural uses in Civil Engineering construction. The first stage was primarily concerned with the design of GRP lamintes with structura1 properties and method of manufacture suitable for use with relatively large structural components. A cold setting, pressure moulding technique was developed which proved to be efficient in reducing the void content in the composite and minimising the exothermic effect due to curing. The effect of fibre content and fibre arrangement on strength and stiffness of the cornposite was studied and the maximum amount of' fibre content that could be reached by the adopted type of moulding technique was determined. The second stage of the project was concerned with the introduction of steel-wire "sheets" into the GRP cornposites, to take advantage of the high modulus of steel wire to improve the GRP stiffness and to reduce deformation. The experimental observations agreed reasonably well with theoretical predictions in both first and second stages of the work. The third stage was concerned with studying the stability of GRP flat rectangular plates subjected to uniaxial compression or pure shear, to simulate compression flanges or shear webs respectively. The investigation was concentrated on the effect of fibre arrangement in the plate on buckling load. The effect of the introduction of steel-wire sheets on the plate stability in compression was also investigated. The boundary conditions were chosen to be close to those usually assumed in built-up box-sections for both compression flanges and webs. The orthotropic plate and the mid-plane symmetric were used successfully in predicting the buckling load theoretically. In determining the buckling load experimentally, two methods were used. The Southwell plot method and electrical strain gauge method. The latter proved to be more reliable in predicting the buckling load than the former, especially for plates under uniaxial compression. Sample design charts for GRP plates that yield and buckle simultaneously under compression are also presented in the thesis. The final stage of the work dealt with the design and test of GRP beams. The investigation began by finding the optimum cross-section for a GRP beam. The cross-section which was developed was a thin walled corrugated section which showed higher stiffness than other cross-sections for the same cross-sectional area (i.e. box, I, and rectangular sections). A cold setting, hand layings technique was used in manufacturing these beams wbich were of nine types depending on the type of glass reinforcement employed and the arrangement of layers in the beam. The simple bending theory was used in the beam design and proved to be satisfactory in predicting the stresses and deflections. A factor of safety of 4 was chosen for design purposes and considered to be suitable for long term use under static load. Because of its relatively low modulus, GRP beams allowable deflection was limited to 1/120th of the span which was found to be adequate for design purposes. A general discussion of the behaviour of GRP composites and their place relative to the more conventional structural material was also presented in the thesis.

Divisions: Engineering & Applied Sciences
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Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: structural properties,glassfibre reinforced plastics
Completed Date: 1974-12

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