The Integrity of Polymer Composites During and After Fire

This paper reports on changes to the mechanical properties of woven glass laminates with polyester, vinyl ester and phenolic resins during fire exposure. Two sets of experiments were carried out. First, unstressed laminates were exposed to a constant one-sided heat flux (50kWm-2) for various times, and the residual post-fire strength at room temperature was reported. In a second series of experiments, laminates were tested under load. The times corresponding to a given loss of properties were 2–3 times shorter than in the previous case. It was found in both cases that modes of loading involving compressive stress were more adversely affected by fire exposure than those involving tension.

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