Degradation of Polymeric Granular
Composites (PI: John Bridge)
This ongoing research is centered around the thermal-mechanical characterization and strengthening mechanisms of polymeric granular composites that are used by many Thoroughbred horse racetracks and other equine sports surfaces. Current emphasis is understanding the degradation mechanisms of the material components as they age over time. Testing of the extracted polymeric binder shows that chemical oxidation is occurring which is hypothesized to change the mechanical properties of the track material. These changes, in turn, can adversely affect the racing performance and safety of horse and jockey.