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Investigation of the effect of relative humidity on polymers by depth sensing indentation

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posted on 03.08.2011, 14:11 by Kazim Altaf, Ian A. Ashcroft, Richard J.M. Hague
Stereolithography (SL) resins absorb varying amounts of moisture dependent on the relative humidities, which can significantly affect the mechanical properties. In this work, the influence of relative humidity (RH) on the mechanical behaviour of an SL resin is investigated using depth sensing indentation (DSI). The samples were conditioned by two methods. In the first method, samples were pre-conditioned at 33.5, 53.8, 75.3 and 84.5% RH using saturated salt solutions. These preconditioned samples were tested at 33.5% RH, using a humidity control unit (HCU) to control RH in the DSI system. In the second method, samples were conditioned and tested at 33.5, 53.8, 75.3 and 84.5% RH by regulating humidity in the DSI system using the HCU. Temperature was kept constant at 22.5 C for the conditioning and DSI testing. It was seen that hardness and modulus decreased with increasing RH and conditioning time but recovered significantly when tested after drying. This study demonstrates that RH needs to be taken into account during the DSI testing of polymers.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


ALTAF, K., ASHCROFT, I.A. and HAGUE, R.J.M., 2011. Investigation of the effect of relative humidity on polymers by depth sensing indentation. Journal of Materials Science, 46 (23), pp. 7551-7557.


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