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Durability of flax/bio-based epoxy composites intended for structural strengthening

Abstract : Environmentally friendly FRP composites, made of natural fibres and bio-based polymer matrices, may be used as externally bonded reinforcement for civil structures or buildings subjected to moderate outdoor conditions, in replacement of traditional carbon/epoxy systems. However, a major drawback of natural fibers is their sensitivity to moisture, which can affect both the mechanical properties of FRP composites and their adhesive bond with concrete. This research, funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR Project MICRO), aims at studying the influence of hygrothermal ageing on the performances of “green composites” manufactured by hand lay-up process using unidirectional flax fabrics and a bio-based epoxy matrix. The test program consists in subjecting FRP laminates and FRP strengthened concrete slabs to accelerated ageing conditions under various combinations of temperature and humidity. Aged laminates are then periodically characterized by tensile tests and interlaminar shear tests, while the bond properties of concrete/composite assemblies are assessed by pull-off tests. This paper presents the first results of this ongoing program which is scheduled over a period of 2 years. Results are discussed in the light of complementary investigations (water sorption behaviour, microscopic observations and evaluation of the glass transition temperature by differential scanning calorimetry – DSC) in order to relate observed performance evolutions to actual microstructural changes or damage processes taking place in the material.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03089010
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Karim Benzarti, Robert Chlela, Wendlamita Zombré, Marc Quiertant, Laurence Curtil. Durability of flax/bio-based epoxy composites intended for structural strengthening. MATEC Web of Conferences, EDP sciences, 2018, 199, pp.07014. ⟨10.1051/matecconf/201819907014⟩. ⟨hal-03089010⟩

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