An Investigation of the Tensile Strength of a Composite-To-Metal Adhesive Joint

Nicholas G. Tsouvalis, Vasileios Karatzas

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The present study examines the feasibility of a simple concept composite-to-metal butt joint through the performance of both numerical and experimental studies. The composite part is made of glass/epoxy unidirectional layers made with the vacuum bag method. The geometry of the joint is typical for marine applications and corresponds to a low stiffness ratio. Two major parameters are investigated, namely the overlap length and the surface preparation of the steel adherent. Manufacturing of specimens and the procedure of the tensile tests are described in detail, giving hints for obtaining a better quality joint. Axial elongation and strains at various places of the joint were monitored and also numerically calculated. The tests revealed that the joint is quite effective, irrespectively of the steel surface preparation method. The failure loads are comparable and in some cases superior to other corresponding values found in the literature. The numerical models proved to adequately predict the structural response of the joint up to the loading where debonding starts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Composite Materials
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)149-163
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adhesive joints
  • Debonding
  • Finite element analysis
  • Surface roughness
  • Welding/Joining


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