The colloquium will address the following topics, in four half-day sessions:

  1. Polymers and elastomers
  2. Foams and syntactic foams
  3. Polymer fibres
  4. Fibre Reinforced polymers

Each session will include between four and six papers, followed by a discussion period. Presentations by young researchers and PhD students will be actively encouraged.

The specific aims of the colloquium are the following:

– First, to bring together leading European experts in the area of polymer aging to discuss the specific problems associated with the influence of the marine environment on mechanical behaviour.

– Second, the issues associated with coupling between water diffusion and mechanical loads will be highlighted, as this is a key area in the development of predictive models and is receiving considerable current attention. A previous Euromech colloquium in 2013 examined Multi-physical couplings in solid polymers, but with a much wider scope (thermos-mechanical, liquid or gas diffusion and chemical coupling). It is hoped that significant progress will be made here on the specific effects of the marine environment. This is a key topic for many applications, which starts from the characterization and prediction of water ingress into polymers. Various models are available today, with different degrees of complexity (variants on Fickian diffusion, Langmuir models, clustering, polar interactions…). In order to establish water profiles in marine components modelling is unavoidable, but the validity and limits of these models need to be addressed. Then the interactions between mechanical loading and diffusion must be accounted for. The initiation and propagation of damage will be addressed. Presentations on the effects of hydrostatic pressure loading, a critical element of many underwater applications but not well understood today, will be particularly encouraged. Finally, accelerated test methodologies to predict long term mechanical behavior and their limitations will be discussed, in order to make progress in this essential area.

These aspects apply to all four classes of materials, but the current state of the art differs between them; grouping this range of polymer based materials in one colloquium will encourage transfers between researchers working in the different fields and accelerate progress towards reliable lifetime prediction modeling.

On day #1 there will be the presentation regarding the results developed in the FIRMAIN project:

Study of the hygro-elastic behavior of composite materials in presence of cracks: application to the durability of renewable marine energy structures, by Uguen et al, (Université de Nantes).