This paper describes experimental and numerical techniques to study the structural design of double lap shear joints that are based on thick-adherend steel/steel and steel/composite, with epoxy adhesive. A standard practical fabrication method was used to produce specimens of various dimensions and materials. These specimens consist of 10 mm steel inner adherend and various outer adherend materials including composite and steel of various thicknesses and overlaps. The composite is largely based on carbon fibre-reinforced plastic. The specimens were tested under monotonic tensile loading and the results showed that joint strength depends largely on materials combination and overlap length. The testing also included the use of an advanced imaging system to determine failure initiation and propagation. Two-dimensional finite element analysis (FEA) stress models were applied and showed the importance of modelling the composite layers adjacent to the adhesive bondline in order to account for the critical local stresses. The FEA results also showed that overall shear stress distributions can be used to characterise joint failure. The paper presents the experimental and numerical details with key conclusions.
- Lap-shear test
- Adhesive bonding