Loughborough University
PhD Thesis - Aamir.pdf (5.49 MB)

Modelling degradation in adhesive joints subjected to fluctuating service conditions

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posted on 2010-06-15, 10:51 authored by Aamir Mubashar
Adhesive joining is an attractive alternative to conventional joining methods, such as welding and mechanical fastening. The benefits of adhesive bonding include: the ability to form lightweight, high stiffness structures; joining of different types of materials; better fatigue performance, and reduction in the stress concentrations or the effects of the heat associated with welding. However, concerns about the durability of adhesive joints still hinder their widespread use in structural applications. Moisture has been identified as one of the major factors affecting joint durability. This is especially important in applications where joints are exposed to varying moisture conditions throughout their useful life. The aim of this research is to develop models to predict degradation in adhesive joints under varying moisture conditions. This was achieved by a combination of experimental and numerical methods. Experiments were carried out to characterise the moisture uptake and mechanical properties of the single part epoxide adhesive, FM73-M. Single lap joints were manufactured from aluminium alloy 2024 in heat treated (T3) and non heat treated (O) states using the FM73-M, BR127 adhesive-primer system. Tensile testing of the single lap joints was carried out after the joints had been exposed to hot-wet conditioning environments. Models were developed for predicting moisture concentration in the adhesive under cyclic moisture absorption and desorption conditions. A finite element based methodology incorporating moisture history was developed to predict the cyclic moisture concentration. In the next step, a novel finite element based methodology, which was based on moisture history effects, was developed to determine stresses in bonded joints after curing, conditioning and tensile testing. In the final step, a moisture history dependent cohesive zone element based damage and failure criterion was introduced to predict damage initiation, crack growth and failure under variable moisture and temperature conditions. The methodology proposed in this work and its implementation by finite element method provides a systematic approach for determining the degradation in adhesive joints under varying environmental conditions and accomplishes the aim of this research.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Aamir Mubashar

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en