Understanding Water Diffusion Characteristics in Civil-Grade Epoxy Materials: A Comprehensive Study Through Microscopic Observation and Numerical Analysis

Event Type Seminar, Colloquia, Invited Talk, Conference
Is this event (co-)sponsored by ASPIRE? Yes
Is this event innovation focused? No
Event Name SAMPE 2024 Conference & Exhibition
Event Location Long Beach, CA
Event Start Date 05/21/2024
Event End Date 05/23/2024
Number of Attendees 200
Number of Student Attendees 50
Number of Teacher/Faculty Attendees 150
Which project does this pertain to? Electrified Roadways
Presentation Title or Topic Understanding Water Diffusion Characteristics in Civil-Grade Epoxy Materials: A Comprehensive Study Through Microscopic Observation and Numerical Analysis
Presenters Samiul Alam
Abstract:

The utilization of civil-grade thermosetting materials encounters constraints due to their vulnerability to various environmental factors, primarily water absorption. Thus, a comprehensive investigation of water diffusion characteristics is imperative to fully understand the underlying mechanisms and devise effective strategies for mitigating water-induced challenges. This research aims to investigate the water diffusion characteristics (e.g., diffusivity, solubility) and associated damage of a civil-grade epoxy resin. A series of room-temperature diffusion tests were conducted over two months under deionized and tap water to observe the water diffusion characteristics of the epoxy resin. An in-house MATLAB code was developed to compute water diffusion coefficients utilizing the 1D Fickian equation. A baseline representative volume element-based finite element (RVE-FE) diffusion model was formulated based on micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) image analysis of the specimens, facilitating a detailed comprehension of water diffusion characteristics associated with manufacturing defects (i.e., porosity). Results show that the epoxy is more susceptible to tap water than deionized water; all specimens experienced water gain of approximately 50% of their initial weight, resulting from internal porosity. A porosity content determined from micro-CT observation confirmed that the civil-grade epoxy has a greater porosity than conventional industry epoxy systems, rendering it more susceptible to water diffusion. This research will establish a foundation for the development of a thermoset with enhanced environmental resistance by modifying the epoxy resin system.

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