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Modelling the fracture behaviour of adhesively-bonded joints as a function of test rate

2011-04, Karac, Aleksandar, Blackman, B. R. K., Cooper, V., et al.

Tapered-double cantilever-beam joints were manufactured from aluminium-alloy substrates bonded together using a single-part, rubber-toughened, epoxy adhesive. The mode I fracture behaviour of the joints was investigated as a function of loading rate by conducting a series of tests at crosshead speeds ranging from 3.33 × 10−6 m/s to 13.5 m/s. Unstable (i.e. stick–slip crack) growth behaviour was observed at test rates between 0.1 m/s and 6 m/s, whilst stable crack growth occurred at both lower and higher rates of loading. The adhesive fracture energy, GIc, was estimated analytically, and the experiments were simulated numerically employing an implicit finite-volume method together with a cohesive-zone model. Good agreement was achieved between the numerical predictions, analytical results and the experimental observations over the entire range of loading rates investigated. The numerical simulations were able very readily to predict the stable crack growth which was observed, at both the slowest and highest rates of loading. However, the unstable crack propagation that was observed could only be predicted accurately when a particular rate-dependent cohesive-zone model was used. This crack-velocity dependency of GIc was also supported by the predictions of an adiabatic thermal-heating model.