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Title: Predictive methods for the fire resistance of single skin and sandwich composite materials
Author: Cutter, Philip Anthony
ISNI:       0000 0001 3401 0002
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2008
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Polymer composite materials are becoming increasingly popular in many engineering structures in the civil, aerospace, marine and automotive industries. The increased strength and stiffness to weight ratios which are possible with certain types of composites make them particularly attractive to many high performance applications such as military aircraft, offshore lifeboats and formula one racing cars. One aspect of composite materials which is preventing more widespread use is the perceived poor performance in fire. The perception is due to the fact that organic compounds used in polymer composites are combustible. The loss of the Norwegian Navy’s composite mine hunter vessel Orkla in 2002 to a fire did much to prevent further widespread use of such materials. The work presented here describes the research that has been conducted into assessing and predicting the performance of single skin and sandwich composite materials subjected to fire and mechanical load. The materials that were investigated were representative of the materials used in the construction of Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboats. A new method has been developed to assess the response both thermally and mechanically of single skin and sandwich panels subjected to combined fire and mechanical load. This has been done by the construction of a small scale fire and load testing apparatus. An empirical relationship was developed to predict the stiffness of single skin and sandwich panels during a fire and load test. Numerical models have also been generated to predict the thermo-mechanical response of single skin and sandwich panels to fire and load. Testing of single skin and sandwich panels on the newly developed apparatus has been conducted to verify the numerical models. The numerical models and the empirical relationship were used to predict the response of a full scale composite sandwich panel, representative of a lifeboat deck, to a standard cellulosic fire and mechanical load.
Supervisor: Shenoi, Ramanand Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: VM Naval architecture. Shipbuilding. Marine engineering ; U Military Science (General) ; TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics