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Title: Environmental stress cracking resistance of phenolic compounds
Author: Eccott, A. R.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1994
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The environmental stress cracking (ESC) behaviour of a series of phenolics toughened with varying proportions of thermoplastic (0-35%), has been studied. Since these materials have been designed for applications in 'under-the-bonnet' automotive components, testing took place in serveral 'in-service' environments and in some of the constituent chemicals as well as in air. Initial screening of the materials using three point bend testing highlighted the most hostile environments for further study. Tensile testing of samples in air and in methanol and immersion of samples in various environments provided a further insight concerning the diffusion effects likely to be encountered. Creep tests were conducted in selected environments at 23oC, as well as at increased temperatures to provide more realistic 'under-the-bonnet' situations. The observed increase in creep rate in most hostile environments was related to crack initiation and growth. Within the range of added thermoplastic studied, two scales of morphology were seen to occur. In addition to a small scale morphology, only observed using TEM, there exists a large scale ribbon-like morphology. This was studied using light microscopy as well as SEM, on samples etched with permanganate and it was shown using X-ray microanalysis that the ribbons visible were thermoplastic rich regions. A good correlation was obtained between the amount of ribbon-like areas and the thermoplastic content of the sample. Samples, apparently prepared under identical conditions, vary slightly in colour. Further investigation revealed that these colour differences could be correlated with a variation in large scale morphology as well as considerable property differences. TEM, SEM and light microscopy were performed to relate the ESC behaviour with the material morphology. TEM investigations concerning the small scale morphology effect upon crack growth were inconclusive. However, from viewing etched samples subject to ESC via bend tests in methanol, using SEM and light microscopy, it was evident that the large scale morphology was responsible for deflecting microcracks.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available