Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Optimization of adhesively-bonded single lap joints by adherend notching

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The effect of adherend notching on the strength and deformation behavior of single lap joints was investigated. First, a parametric study was conducted using finite element analysis (FEA). This initial part of the research into the effect of notches on joint behavior involved determination of the optimum notch location and notch dimensions. This was done by using FEA in a series of models with different notch positions and geometries. The results of this parametric study were used to select the most promising lap geometries for further study. Next, more detailed FEA were conducted on the selected lap geometries. These data were compared with the experimental single-lap shear test results to assess the applicability of different failure criteria. Three different model adhesives were used: a rubber toughened film epoxy with nylon carrier, a styrene-butadiene-styrene block copolymer based deformable 'gel' adhesive, and a two-part, metal filled brittle epoxy adhesive. The FEA for single lap joints containing 'top notches' on the unbonded, top side of the adherends, at locations corresponding to the overlap ends, and bonded with the two-part metal filled epoxy provided the best agreement with the experimental results. The experimental results showed a 29% increase in joint strength with the introduction of the notches, which matched very well with the 27% decrease in the peak peel stress observed by the FEA results. For this brittle adhesive, the peel stress is almost certainly the governing failure stress. This was confirmed by matching of the FEA peak peel stress ratios with the experimental load ratios, for both the notched and unnotched specimens.

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Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology





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