at the interface of nanotechnology and life sciences

Characterization of glass-reinforced epoxy (GRE) composites (Future Pipes Industries II)

The TFF project “Characterization of glass-reinforced epoxy (GRE) composites” was a two-years project in which the Saxion research group, the Windesheim polymer engineering group and Future Pipe Industries worked on the characterization of composite pipe materials and the development of a new test method for composite pipes used for fluid transport. 

In the market there is a high demand for pipe systems that can withstand the long-term exposure to pressurized corrosive fluids at temperatures up to 150˚C. Future Pipe Industries (FPI) has developed glass fiber reinforced epoxy (GRE) pipe systems for the transportation of fluids. The current systems, however, are not capable for the long-term use up to these temperatures.

 Within this project, Nanobio Saxion focused on obtaining a deeper understanding of the mechanism of glass fiber ageing in dependence of crude material and composite composition. During the manufacturing process a so-called sizing (or ‘finish’) is applied on the filaments that is crucial for the behavior of the roving and for the interaction with the polymer in which the roving is embedded later on. It was found that an unsuited combination of glass fiber, sizing and epoxy polymer leads to defects at the interphase. These defects were quantified using microscopy techniques.

In addition, the goal of the project was the development of a macroscopic test method for the testing of a roving which is discriminative for the performance in GRE pipes by using basic specimen preparation and standard testing equipment. That was achieved with a modified interlaminar shear strength test (ILSS) that does also measure the transverse tensile strength which is a more discriminative parameter for GRE performance.

Time period: October 2017 – December 2019

Projectleader: Kees Rookus