Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
By implanting luminous powder into GFRPs, the material’s luminous capabilities coupled with its high strength to weight ratio create a structural component doubling as a sustainable light source. In this research, the luminous and mechanical properties of self-luminous GFRPs subjected to various environmental stimuli are studied to understand how their afterglow and mechanical properties are affected by weather and differing luminous powder concentrations. To simulate the conditions a GFRP will face during its lifetime, the material was studied after exposure to UV radiation, freezing and hot temperatures, and submersion under tap water. This study also analyzes how the luminous and mechanical properties of natural, flax FRPs differ from GFRPs. A luminous test was performed to study the material’s brightness over time. It was found that self-luminous GFRPs emit light in logarithmic decay upon light source removal. Additional luminous powder increased the GFRP’s light intensity and duration of emittance, however the rate of change in its afterglow properties decreased at higher luminous concentrations. A self-luminous GFRP’s brightness was significantly decreased after exposure to UV radiation and slightly decreased when heated. Moisture had no significant impact on a self-luminous GFRP’s brightness, while freezing temperatures slightly increased its light intensity over time. To study the material’s durability after subjected to different environmental conditions, a quasi-static tensile test was performed. The experiment found the tensile strength and ultimate strain of self-luminous GFRPs were unaffected by luminous powder at low concentrations, and the material’s elastic modulus increased with additional powder. Moisture caused a significant decrease in the material’s tensile strength and ultimate strain but did not affect its elastic modulus. UV radiation caused a slight decrease in tensile strength, ultimate strain, and elastic modulus, while the freezing and heated temperatures studied in this experiment did not affect the material’s mechanical properties.