Digital Repository, ICF12, Ottawa 2009

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Fractographic Analysis of the Effects of Combined Natural Weathering and Seawater on the Performance of GFRE Pipes
N. Merah, S. Nizamuddin, Z. Khan, F. Al-Sulaiman, M. Mehdi

Last modified: 2013-05-03


The use of glass fiber reinforced Epoxy (GFRE) pipes for seawater and crude oil
handling and transportation in Saudi Arabia is hindered by the lack of reliable
engineering data on the durability of these pipes when exposed to harsh Arabian
Gulf outdoor environment.
This paper presents a study of the effects of natural outdoor weather and
seawater on tensile and creep (stress rupture) behavior of GFRE materials.
Exposure of seawater filled pipes to Saudi outdoor environment for periods
ranging from 6 to 12 months has resulted in a drastic reduction of tensile and
stress rupture strengths of the materials. Fractographic analysis of unexposed
specimens showed a combination of mode I and mode II failure characterized by
inclined hackles as well as large amount of fiber breakage. High temperature and
moisture absorption decreased fiber-matrix interface strength and caused
degradation at the fiber level resulting in lower strength and stiffness of the

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