Office of Undergraduate Research

Heat Treatment for Development of Ductile FRP Composites

Fiber-reinforced Polymer (FRP) Composites have gained widespread use in civil, mechanical, and aerospace applications. However, a major drawback of FRP materials is (unlike steel and aluminum, &) is the brittle nature of FRP failure. A recent UWM PhD graduate working under my direction (Devon Ellis) discovered an interesting phenomenon as part of his research on fire-resistance of concrete reinforced with FRP bars. He observed significant ductility after fiberglass FRP bars were heated and cooled using a specific procedure. However, this behavior has to have particular heating duration and intensity to achieve the desired results. The objective of this effort is to understand the basic parameters involved through small scale laboratory testing as well as heat transfer modeling. This effort would be limited to the extent that enough data would be gathered for writing a major research proposal on the subject.

Tasks and responsibilities:

The student will pre-heat small diameter fiberglass bars to different temperature levels in an oven and maintain temperatures for varying durations. After cooling, the student will perform tensile tests in the small Instron test machine and record load-displacement response up to failure. The student will also perform finite element heat transfer models s and plot temperature profiles in bars. He/she will prepare a poster for the competition