Monitoring fungal degradation of E-glass/phenolic fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites used in wood reinforcement

Cihat Tascioglu, Barry Goodell, Roberto Lopez-Anido, Michael Peterson, William Halteman, Jody Jellison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The susceptibility of E-glass fiber reinforced polymer (FRP)/phenolic pultruded composite plates to fungal degradation was examined. Interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) by short-beam testing and ultrasonic non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques were applied to monitor fungal degradation of E-glass fiber reinforced polymer composites. Since the FRP material was designed for use as reinforcement with wood, the FRP material was exposed to two common wood decay fungi, a brown rot fungus and a white rot fungus. Light and scanning electron microscopy indicated that both wood decay fungi actively grew and penetrated into the FRP material, especially in high-void content areas. The reduction in apparent ILSS of the brown rot-exposed FRP material was not statistically significant at a 95% confident level. A weak relationship between decay exposure and ILLS strength loss, however, was observed. The experimental results indicate that both mechanical property evaluation techniques (ILSS and NDE) may be sensitive enough to detect the effects of fungal degradation in FRP materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Biodeterioration and Biodegradation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The National Science Foundation—EPSCoR Program on Advanced Engineered Wood Composites, the McIntire–Stennis Grant program and the New England Wood Utilization Research Program at the University of Maine provided funding for the study presented in this paper. This is paper No. 2553 of the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station.


  • Biodegradation
  • Composite
  • Decay
  • Durability
  • FRP
  • Fungi
  • Pultrusion
  • Wood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Biomaterials
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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