National Physical Laboratory

Environmental Conditioning and Testing of Composites

Environmental conditioning In order to determine the effectiveness of different composite systems, processing variables and surface treatments, it may be necessary to expose adhesively bonded joints to various environmental and loading conditions that simulate actual service conditions. The resistance of the bonded structure to degradation agents often becomes apparent within a short period. In some circumstances only a few hours of exposure may lead to catastrophic failure or seriously compromise the structural integrity of the joint. Important factors when selecting a test method are:

  • Availability of a standard test method;
  • Ability of the test method to provide consistent and reliable engineering or quality assurance data for a range of materials and service conditions within a relatively short timescale; and
  • Ability of the test method to provide an improved understanding of the influence of environmental degradation mechanisms and design parameters.

NPL's environmental testing facilities and expertise cover a wide range of conditions including: static heat ageing, sub-zero exposure, humidity (hot/wet) exposure and chemical immersion (water, acids and alkaline solutions) at ambient and elevated temperatures.

Last Updated: 9 Apr 2013
Created: 26 Jul 2007

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