Sea water and cold temperatures appear to have an adverse effect on naval materials resulting in the degradation of their mechanical properties. In this paper, the effects of sea water absorption and arctic conditioning have on the mechanical properties of divinycell foams are discussed. For this study, moisture absorption was periodically measured until weight gain equilibrium or saturation was reached for samples submerged in sea water and deionized water. Diffusivities and saturation values were obtained from moisture uptake curves. It was observed that the moisture content was higher for the vinyl foam samples submerged in deionized water compared to the samples submerged in synthetic sea water. Diffusivities were 9.227E-06 mm2sec and 1.390E-05 mm2sec for deionized water and sea water conditioning, respectively. Flexural and compression tests were then conducted on conditioned samples to compare their response against non-exposed samples. Experimental findings showed degradation in the flexural modulus and the compressive modulus for saturated wet samples and arctic-dry samples. This occurrence can be observed in both tests with more prominent reduction in its flexural modulus for arctic-dry samples and in compression for submerged in deionized water samples. Such a reduction is attributed to the degradation caused by the water, both deionized water and sea water, in the form of surface damage to specimens.

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