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Fluid Structure Interactions Research Group

Analysis of adhesively-bonded joints subject to high-speed loading

George Crammond gc305@soton.ac.uk - School of Engineering Sciences Supervisors Dr Stephen W. Boyd and Professor Janice M. Barton
Motivation & Aim Double Butt Strap Joint Quasi Static Testing Joints tested with 25mm overlap exhibiting strength of between 16-19kN, similar to results from previously published investigations [2] Failure occurring below the failure strength of the adhesive Reduction of joint stiffness observed due to separation between the butts of the inner adherends Generic7 Panels x 10 3.5 Research has designed a Generic Panel to be representative of secondary Specimen A structure Specimen B
3 Specimen C Specimen D Specimen E Specimen F

There is increasing use of composites within aerospace, rail, automotive and marine industries due to their beneficial specific materials properties
The large size of these structures makes it impractical and expensive for structures to be moulded as one continuous piece. Joining mechanisms are required either to assemble the structure from many smaller components or for the attachment of secondary structure such as strengthening ribs There are 2 major types of joining methods; Mechanical fastenings, such as bolts, rivets and screws, and Adhesive bonding


Stress / MPa

Significant weight savings and greater load transfer efficiency are possible when using the adhesively bonded joint This project examines bonded assemblies under high-speed loading to create a design library of joint designs that engineers can use with confidence



0.5 Strain / %


Figure 1: DSJ in test grips [1]

Figure 4: Stress/strain response of DSJs

Figure 5: Failed DBSJs

Testing The response of the joints and their failure mechanisms will then be assessed under high speed loading conditions using a Instron VHS machine capable of speeds up to 20m/s. The investigation will examine double butt strap joints (DBSJ) due to the symmetrical load transfer across the joint and its popularity as a joint mechanism in industry The joints will be constructed in glass fibre using the resin infusion process in the layup [CSM3,05,CSM2]s simulating pultruded composite materials, commonly used in the marine industry The experimental approach will take advantage of non contact full field stress and strain measurement techniques Thermoelastic stress analysis (TSA) will be used to identify the through thickness stress field created between adherend and adhesive as this is where the Universitys current experimental mechanics expertise lie Digital image correlation (DIC) will be developed examine the joint using high speed cameras and be used to derive the component strains within the joint
Figure 2: Instron VHS Machine

Results Experimental DIC Result:

Figure 6: Full field strain map of DSJ under load created using DIC technique

Stereo Digital Image Correlation used to observe DBSJ under quasi static testing High strain concentration seen at the butt joint between the two inner adherends Complex strain field visible at the junction between the outer straps and the inner adherend Layers of CSM identifiable in joint from the off axis direction of the strain vectors

Modeling Finite element models will be created to analyse the joints The models will be used to perform an extensive parametric study into joint geometries to improve the strength of the joint The FEA model will be linked to an optimisation algorithm to maximise the efficiency of the joint Failure mechanisms Failure incidence in a DBSJ was recorded at 6640fps Short fibre tear failures have been seen in all specimens tested to date Progression of failure crack within the surface layer of CSM Significant fibre bridging can be seen between failure surfaces, acting as a strengthening mechanism, resisting the opening force of the crack tip

Conclusions Failure mechanisms of the joint observed using high speed camera capturing light fibre-tear failures Fibre bridging across failure surfaces observed, acting as a joint strengthening mechanism holding cracks closed and slowing crack growth Reduction in joint stiffness seen once the inner adherend butts separate Initial DIC results show promise in analysing the through thickness load transfer through double strap joints Full field techniques to be used further and a DIC technique able to capture high speed events to be developed TSA to be used to add depth to the through thickness load transfer analysis Testing at high strain rates yet to be undertaken
[1] Tensile tests on bonded double-strap joints between pultuded GFRP profiles. F. Fassio, S. Santini, T. Valle. s.l. : Proceedings of the International Symposium on Bond Behaviour of FRP in Structures (BBFS 2005) [2] On joint strengths, peel stresses and failure modes in adhesively bonded double-strap and supported single-lap GFRP joints. H.K. Lee, S.H. Pyo, B.R. Kim. s.l. : Composite Structures, 2009, Vol. 87

Figure 3: Failure sequence of DSJ

FSI Away Day 2010