Time-scale through-thickness interphase in polymer matrix composites including hygrothermal treatment

Masoud Yekani Fard, Brian Raji, Heidi Pankretz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


For the first time, the physical effects of long-term environmental conditions on through-thickness interphase in polymer matrix composites (PMCs) were studied. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) -based Peak Force Quantitative Nanomechanical Mapping (PF QNM) technique was utilized to study the effects of heat and humidity on the mechanical properties of interphase at nanometer resolution. Samples were aged with a heat of 60 °C and relative humidity of 90% for up to 2 years. The width of the interphase is uneven and ‘river-like’ through the thickness in unaged and aged composites. The width of interphase depends on its location and the degree of moisture saturation. The difference in thickness of the interphase, through the thickness, reduces with exposure time. While the mechanism of expansion and shrinkage of interphase is different through-thickness, the range of material modulus is almost the same through-thickness in unaged and aged conditions. Rate of debonding increases from unaged to one-year aged and reduces in the second year of exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106365
JournalPolymer Testing
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Hygrothermal treatment
  • Interface/interphase
  • Non-destructive testing
  • Polymer matrix composites (PMCs)
  • Quantitative nanomechanical analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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