Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 11, Issue 12, pp 2297–2306 | Cite as

Effect of water and ice on strength and fracture toughness of intermittently bonded boron-epoxy composites

  • A. G. Atkins
  • Y. W. Mai


The effects of water and ice on the strength and fracture toughness of boron-epoxy composites with polyurethane intermittent bonding have been investigated. Neither simple soaking in water nor soaking followed by freezing and thawing have marked effects on the strength of the fully-coated composites, but they have disastrous effects on the uncoated composites. Toughness is affected only marginally, with some small reductions in the fully-coated samples, and with essentially no effect on the uncoated composites. An analysis is presented which explains adequately the experimental strength and toughness results obtained, and which is based on an argument that water absorption reduces the interfacial shear strength only of the uncoated areas and not those regions coated by the polyurethane varnish. The results indicate that the advantages of appropriate intermittent bonding (i.e. high strength combined with high toughness) are retained in wet conditions so that such composites may be favourably used in such adverse environmental conditions.


Polymer Fracture Toughness Shear Strength Polyurethane Water Absorption 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. G. Atkins
    • 1
  • Y. W. Mai
    • 2
  1. 1.Delta Materials Research LimitedIpswichUK
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringImperial College of Science and TechnologyLondonUK

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