The correlation between nanoscale interface debonding and crack energy release rate for modes I, II, and I/II for extended exposure to hygrothermal conditions in polymer matrix composites (PMCs) needs to be understood. In this study, the effects on PMCs for two years of exposure, to a heat of 60 °C and relative humidity of 90%, were investigated. The interphase properties were studied using PF QNM. During hygrothermal treatment, the interphase region's thickness around the crack tip increases, and the morphology of the interphase changes. Nanoscale debonding of the fiber and matrix in artificially aged samples is a mix of cohesive and adhesive failure. Degradation at the nanoscale interphase and the macroscale crack initiation toughness slows after one year of aging. Interface debonding and nanoscale cracks cause intralaminar cracks, fiber bridging, and an increase in crack energy. Toughness in mode I fracture was increased in the artificially aged samples.
- Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)
- Surface analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials