Analysis of Adhesive Bonded Fiber-Reinforced Composite Joints

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Title: Analysis of Adhesive Bonded Fiber-Reinforced Composite Joints
Author: Ficarra, Christina Helene
Advisors: Dr. Eric Klang, Chair
Dr. J. Eischen, Member
Dr. L. Silverberg, Member
Abstract: The work presented in this thesis involved the analysis of adhesive bonded joints for composite bridge decks and was divided into three phases. The first phase involved a parametric study on a single lap joint using ANSYS finite element analysis software. The purpose of the parametric study was to alter the geometry and material properties of the joint and study their effects on the stress distribution in both the adherends and adhesive. The four different cases studied included adding a taper to the adherends, different edge shapes on the adhesive layer, a material stiffness imbalance and a geometric stiffness imbalance. It was found that for the taper case and the edge shape case, the stress field in the joint was affected slightly. The material and geometric stiffness imbalance cases had the most drastic affect on the stress field of both the adhesive and adherend. Phase two of this study involved physical tests on single lap joints pulled in uniaxial tension. Tests were performed on three different types of laminates in order to study the interfacial effects these laminates had on the adhesive bond. It was found that by changing the surface of the composite, the mode of failure changed significantly.Phase three of this research involved a study on surface preparation. Three different surface preparations were conducted on the adherends of a butt-strap joint. The first included an acetone wipe. The second involved sanding the adherends. The third surface preparation involved adding APRIME-2, a secondary bonding agent, to the adherends before adding the strap. By simply sanding the adherends, the load to failure was increased by 350% compared to an acetone wipe. The ATPRIME-2 improved the load to failure by an additional 60% as well as improved the failure mode to a fiber tear. It was concluded that surface preparation has a major impact on the behavior of adhesively bonded joints.
Date: 2001-07-23
Degree: MS
Discipline: Aerospace Engineering

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