Reinforced Plastics Research Laboratory
Jed S. Lyons, Director
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208 Telophone #: 803-777-9552

"Just one word: Plastics!"

The Reinforced Plastics Research Laboratory supports the development of high-performance polymers and composites though the characterization of their long-term viscoelastic behavior and durability. Dedicated facilities include the Elevated Temperature Creep and Stress-Rupture Facility and the Constant Humidity Creep Facility. The Laboratory also shares static and dynamic testing facilities with the Center for Mechanics of Materials and Non-destructive Evaluation, including tension-compression test machines, impact testers, a drop table, vibration table and numerous controlled temperature and humidity chambers. State-of-the-art finite element analysis tools are also used to perform research.

Ongoing research in cooperation with civil engineering faculty is focused on developing a methodology to assess the durability of structural repairs from fiber reinforced polymer composites. This project also served as the basis for our Composites in Construction RET program. The Laboratory also conducts applied research on the effects of stress, time and temperature on the mechanical behavior of thermoplastics. USC Times wrote an article about that research.

The Reinforced Plastics Research Laboratory has been funded by Solvay Advanced Polymers LLC, Wellman Engineering Resins, Composite Solutions Inc, NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Center for Manufacturing and Technology. The Laboratory provides research training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students..

Part of the Elevated Temperature Creep and Stress-Rupture Facility View inside of the Constant Humidity Creep Facility