Mechanical properties and production quality of hand-layup and vacuum infusion processed hybrid composite materials for GFRP marine structures

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Abstract

Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GFRP) structures are primarily manufactured using hand lay-up or vacuum infusion techniques, which are cost-effective for the construction of marine vessels. This paper aims to investigate the mechanical properties and failure mechanisms of the hybrid GFRP composites, formed by applying the hand lay-up processed exterior and the vacuum infusion processed interior layups, providing benefits for structural performance and ease of manufacturing. The hybrid GFRP composites contain one, two, and three vacuum infusion processed layer sets with consistent sets of hand lay-up processed layers. Mechanical properties assessed in this study include tensile, compressive and in-plane shear properties. Hybrid composites with three sets of vacuum infusion layers showed the highest tensile mechanical properties while those with two sets had the highest mechanical properties in compression. The batch homogeneity, for the GFRP fabrication processes, is evaluated using the experimentally obtained mechanical properties

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