Theoretical Modeling of the Mechanical Degradation of Polymer Composites due to Moisture/Water Absorption and Damage Progression
The moisture/water absorption and microvoids/cracks progression are two well-understood mechanisms that have significant degradation effects on the mechanical properties/behaviors of the polymer-based composites. To theoretically investigate the effects of above two mechanisms, we develop a simple fiber reinforced polymer composites model by employing the internal state variable (ISV) theory. The water content and the anisotropically distributed damage of the composites are considered as two ISVs (the water content is described by a scalar variable and the damage is defined as a second order tensor) whose histories are governed by two specific physically-based evolution equations. The proposed model can be easily cast into a general theoretical framework to capture more polymer composites behaviors such as viscoelasticity, viscoplasticity and the thermal effect.