Understanding the interaction of materials and coatings with the environment is of critical importance in the aerospace industry.
Polymer composites are being used increasingly due to their high strength and stiffness, low density, excellent fatigue and corrosion resistance, and the ease with which they can be manufactured in complex shapes. Such composites are typically formed by mixing fibers, such as carbon, glass or Kevlar, with an organic polymer matrix. This produces a material with the combined properties of the separate components.
The stability of such composites in the presence of moisture is one of the many challenges involved in their use. Moisture ingress, particularly at higher temperatures, can significantly alter their mechanical properties. Gaining a better understanding of water transport and diffusion in these materials is therefore critical, and this can be studied using Hiden Isochema instruments. Moisture uptake can be measured using both the IGAsorp dynamic vapor sorption (DVS) analyzer and the IGA-002 gravimetric analyzer.
Another area of interest is the study of the interaction of water with paints and coatings, for both composites and more traditional aerospace construction materials. Water sorption can again be measured using either our IGAsorp or IGA-002 gravimetric sorption analyzers.