Re: Composite lifespen

Allan Farr

I saw a boatbulding book once and the author (may have been Allan Vaitses) said that any high stress incident (heavy landing/loading test?) reduces the overall strength of a fibreglass structure. I can't remember if he said anything about the total lifespan, but I presume it would depend not just on UV damage, but how much stress the structure has been subjected to.

From: scratchdeeper
Sent: Saturday, October 30, 2010 1:49 PM
To: Q-LIST@...
Subject: [Q-LIST] Composite lifespen

I asked a question some time ago if anyone have a verifiable test, report or similar source of information as to the known life span of a composite structure as to a fiberglass boat or airplane.

No reply, ...fair and square,.... with the big amount of people reading this, I can safely assume that if there is such a report, or such a test done, it would show up, but it seems to be absent from the awareness of the group.

That pretty much answered my question, there are no known life span of a UV protected fiberglass structure.

Since the introduction of the composite technique in the boat market in the mid- late 50's and in the airplane market in the early -70's the conclusion must be that the life span we have experienced so far is just to short to give a conclusive answer today as to how long these will last.

Apart from normal wear and tear on hinges, cables, engines, moving joints etc, that are common to all aircrafts, the fiberglass structure from the -70's seem to be as good structurally as something built a couple of months ago.

Then, how long they actually will last will be more and more irrelevant, 200 years ?, 400 years ?, because if they are built, if this treand continues, they will last beyond our own active life time.

After that, the question will be hypothetical. If we entomed a Q aircraft in a pyramid, and brought it out four thousand years later, we will still not know, because we will not be around.

All in all, the fiberglass composite option seem to be a very very good deal.


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