Experimental and numerical investigations on the thermal response of multilayer glass fibre/unsaturated polyester/organoclay composite

Quynh T. Nguyen, Tuan D. Ngo, Yu Bai, Phuong Tran

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Organoclay glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) nanocomposites are fabricated using the vacuum assisted resin transfer moulding. The unsaturated polyester resin is prepared with and without organoclay involving mechanical mixing, sonication, dilution solvent and heat treatment. Three levels of organophilic clay content are added, and its influences on the fire performance of composite samples are investigated. A novel numerical procedure combining pyrolysis analysis of the organoclay-composites and the fire dynamic simulation of the combustion process are developed to validate the thermal responses obtained from the cone calorimetry experiments. Kinetic parameters obtained from the TGA tests and pyrolysis analyses are used as inputs for the models measuring the fire growth index and total heat release. To account for multilayer composite structure and organoclay distribution, three numerical models are proposed including composite (CPS), component (CPN) and CPN-layer models. While CPS model assumes the homogeneity of the composite, later models consider multilayer effects with uniform (CPN model) or concentrated (CPN-layer model) distribution of organoclay. Numerical results are compared with experimental ones in terms of total heat release, fire growth index. Finally, the fire resistance and total smoke release of the polyester/glass composites with the addition of organoclay will be evaluated taking into account influences of the fabrication processes. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1069
Number of pages23
JournalFire and Materials
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • numerical analysis
  • polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)
  • thermal analysis
  • thermal properties
  • Enthalpy
  • Fiber reinforced plastics
  • Fire resistance
  • Glass
  • Glass fibers
  • Multilayers
  • Numerical analysis
  • Organoclay
  • Polyester resins
  • Polymer blends
  • Pyrolysis
  • Resin transfer molding
  • Thermoanalysis
  • Thermodynamic properties
  • Unsaturated polymers
  • Combustion pro-cess
  • Glass fibre reinforced polymers
  • Multilayer composite
  • Numerical investigations
  • Numerical procedures
  • Organoclay distributions
  • Polymer Matrix Composites (PMCs)
  • Unsaturated polyester resin
  • Polymer matrix composites

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