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I have been really curious about any publications with regard to aging effects on fiberglass/composite matrix materials. One thing in particular I would like to understand is this thing I have seen where part of a structure seems to become more flexible, no visible cracks, signs of impact, just a general change in the rigidity of a material (not related to cored structures). And in areas where structures are prone to flex from stress loading cycles, what are the long term effects? What are the entropy effects on polymer based matrix materials?
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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There was an excellent study of the effect of time on fiberglass that was sponsored by a Marine Insurance association and performed by a composites testing lab. It used to be available on line but I have not been able to find it in recent years.

That study was commissioned after data from marine insurance companies showed that older boats were showing greater amounts of damage in impact circumstances than should have expected otherwise. The study looked at actual panels removed from older boats over the entire range of the study period (something like 1960's through 1990's)exploring the laminate, resins, construction techniques and so on, and compared them with shop made samples.

The findings were very interesting in that the older fiberglass were found to be way more brittle, and oddly more flexible than would have been expected through simple calculations. One of the core conclusions is that these so called 'built like a tank' boats of the 1950's and 1960's were no where near as strong as they should be.

I don't know how you would go about finding a copy of that report but it should address some of your concerns.

Jeff
 
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Thanks a bunch. I have the feeling this document is going to support my beliefs. Very much appreciated.
 
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