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- Isothermal weight loss studies at the Glenn (Lewis) Research Center were conducted at four temperatures (204, 260, 288, and 316 C) with specimens of varied geometric shapes to investigate the mechanisms involved in the thermal degradation of PMR-15. Both neat resin behavior and composite behaviors were studied. Two points of interest in these studies are the role(s) of oxygen in the mechanisms involved in the thermo-oxidative degradation of these composite materials and the dimensional changes that occur during their useable lifetime. Specimen dimensional changes and surface layer growth were measured and recorded. It was shown that physical and chemical changes take place as a function of time and location in PMR-15 neat resin and composites as aging takes place in air at elevated temperatures. These changes initiate at the outer surfaces of both materials and progress inward following the oxygen as it proceeds by diffusion into the central core of each material. Microstructural changes cause changes in density, material shrinkage (strains), glass transition temperature, dimension, dynamic shear modulus, and compression properties. These changes also occur slowly dividing the polymer material into two distinct parts: a visibly undamaged core section between two visibly damaged surface layers. The surface layer has a significant effect on compression properties of thinner specimens, but the visibly undamaged core material controls these properties for specimens having eight or more plies. It was demonstrated that there are three different mechanisms involved in the degradation of PMR-15 during aging at elevated temperatures. These are a weight gain, a small weight fraction bulk material weight loss, and a large mass fraction weight loss concentrated at the surface of the polymer or composite. At the higher temperatures (260 C and above), the surface loss predominates. Below 260 C, the surface loss and the bulk core loss become more equivalent. Between 175 and 260 C, the initial weight change is due to a weight gain mechanism with a visible lifetime that diminishes as the aging temperature increases.
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- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20010069579.
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