Now showing 1 - 10 of 21
  • Publication
    Characterisation of the fracture energy and toughening mechanisms of a nano-toughened epoxy adhesive
    (Trans Tech Publications, 2011-09) ; ; ;
    In this study the adhesive joint fracture behaviour of a nano-toughened epoxy adhesive was investigated. Two experimental test methods were used; (i) the standard tapered double cantilever beam (TDCB) test to measure the mode I adhesive joint fracture energy, GIC, as a function of bond gap thickness and (ii) a circumferentially deep notched tensile test to determine the cohesive strength of the adhesive for a range of constraint levels. It was found that the fracture energy of the adhesive followed the well-known bond gap thickness dependency [1]. SEM analysis of the TDCB fracture surfaces revealed significant plastic void growth. Finally, numerical modelling of the experimental tests suggested that most of the fracture energy was dissipated via highly localised plasticity in the fracture process zone ahead of the crack tip.
      520Scopus© Citations 3
  • Publication
    Mode I fracture toughness of co-cured and secondary bonded composite joints
    The mode I fracture toughness of a single co-cured and two secondary bonded joint systems were determined using the double cantilever beam test. The initiation values of fracture toughness from the PTFE film insert and a mode I crack-tip were considered as well as propagation values. It was found that the starting defect had a large influence on the initiation values for fracture toughness. It was also found that the two secondary bonded systems predominantly resulted in cohesive failure while the co-cured joiailed interfacially. Thermogravimetric analysis coupled with mass-spectrometry was used to show how moisture in the composite prepreg and adhesive affected the toughness of the joints. Microscopy methods were used to gain further insight into the damage mechanisms of the three joint systems.
      598Scopus© Citations 33
  • Publication
    An Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Mixed-mode Fracture Toughness and Lap Shear Strength of Aerospace Grade Composite Joints
    The increasing use of composite materials in various industries, such as aerospace, automotive and renewable energy generation, has driven a need for a greater understanding of the fracture behaviour of bonded composite joints. An important prerequisite for the adhesive bonding of composites is the existence of a uniform surface free from contaminants and mould release agents. While there are several ways in which this may be achieved, the use of peel plies has emerged as the preferred choice for many industries due to the repeatable nature of the resulting surface, particularly in the highly regulated aerospace industry. However, the use of peel plies can present some problems. It is possible that contamination from the peel ply can be transferred to the composite substrate and adversely affects the adhesive joint [1]. Composite joints are typically evaluated using lap shear type tests. While these tests are relatively simple to perform and post-process compared to their fracture mechanics based counterparts, the results can often be misleading and are greatly dependent on the overlap length, the thickness of the substrate and the type of fillet employed [2, 3]. The aim of this work is to show that composite joint systems can be modelled using material properties determined from fracture mechanics based tests. The fracture parameters will be used to develop numerical models of the fracture tests that accurately predict the wide-area lapshear test.
      668
  • Publication
    The Influence of Plasma Surface Treatment on the Fracture Toughness Peel Ply Prepared Bonded Composite Joints
    The increasing use of composite materials in various industries, such as aerospace, automotive and renewable energy generation, has driven a need for a greater understanding of the fracture behaviour of bonded composite joints. An important prerequisite for the adhesive bonding of composites is the existence of a uniform surface free from contaminants and mould release agents. While there are several ways in which this may be achieved, the use of peel plies has emerged as the preferred choice for many industries due to the repeatable nature of the resulting surface, particularly in the highly regulated aerospace industry. The use of peel plies can present some problems. It is possible that contamination from the peel ply can be transferred to the composite substrate and adversely affect the adhesive joint [1]. Plasma treatments have been shown to improve the fracture toughness of adhesively bonded composite joints [2] and can be used to remove contaminants, such as mould release agents, from the surface [3]. The aim of this work is to evaluate the influence of various peel ply treatments on the mode I fracture toughness of different aerospace grade bonded composite joints and to assess the subsequent benefits of employing an atmospheric pressure plasma (APP) surface treatment prior to adhesive bonding in each case.
      253
  • Publication
    The Effect of Prepeg Storage Humidity on Co-cured Composite Joints
    The increasing use of composite materials in the aerospace industry has driven a need for a greater understanding of bonded composite joints. There are generally two types of composite joint used in the aerospace industry; secondary bonded joints and cocured joints. Secondary bonded joints are produced by bonding two cured composite laminates together with an adhesive. However, when composites and adhesives are used to manufacture large parts in the aerospace industry, it is often convenient to co-cure the two materials at the same time. This helps to reduce the high costs associated with autoclave curing and also to reduce processing time. However, despite the apparent advantages, co-curing is not without its drawbacks. Any moisture stored in the composite material prior to co-curing is released during the cure cycle and has a negative effect on the joint. This can also result in interfacial failure. A way around this problem is to either dry the composite material prior to curing or to engineer the composite surface using a variety of surface treatments to promote adhesion, such as an atmospheric pressure plasma treatment [1]. The former option will be investigated in this work. The effects of moisture on the fracture performance of secondary bonded composite joints is well publicised. Moisture can be introduced into the composite laminate prior to [2] or after [3] secondary bonding. The moisture can plasticize the adhesive and reduce the glass transition temperature of the adhesive [4]. However, compared to secondary bonded joints, relatively little work has been carried out on co-cured joints. In the present work, the effect of the level of moisture in the composite prepreg prior to co-curing will be examined.
      251
  • Publication
    Dynamic crack bifurcation in PMMA
    An investigation of the branching characteristics of small PMMA single edge notched tensile (SENT) specimens is presented. The influence of notch depth and specimen thickness was examined and it was found that branching only occurred for thicker specimens and very short notch depths. The location at which successful branching occurred was very consistent for a given notch depth. Subsequently, however, a statistical variation of branching patterns was observed. A series of simulations was then performed to provide further insight into these tests and in particular to examine the evolution of the fracture process region ahead of the running crack. A finite volume/cohesive zone formulation was used to model micro-crack nucleation and dynamic interaction in the process zone. The cohesive strength and fracture resistance were estimated from unnotched tensile tests and the application of LEFM to the notch test data. Even though a very simple criterion was used to govern the insertion and subsequent behaviour of the cohesive surfaces in the model, many of the experimental observations were reproduced, including high frequency oscillations in crack velocity, the substantial increase in the fracture surface area due to the formation of subsurface micro-cracks, and the location at which successful branching took place.
      664Scopus© Citations 38
  • Publication
    Arbitrary crack propagation in multi-phase materials using the finite volume method
    An arbitrary crack propagation model using cell-centre nite volume based method is presented. Crack growth in an elastic solid, across an interface perpendicular to the initial crack path and into a second elastic solid is analysed. Crack initiation and the subsequent path of propagation are shown to arise naturally out of the selection of appropriate cohesive parameters. It is shown that the allowable crack propagation path is restricted by the underlying mesh. Results are presented for a number of values of interfacial strength and ratios of elastic properties between the two elastic solids. For higher values of interfacial strength, the crack is shown to propagate straight through the interface, while for lower values of interfacial strength, the crack is shown to change direction and propagate along the interface. It is shown that with careful selection of material and interface parameters it is possible to arrest a propagating crack at the interface. The method represents a useful step towards the prediction of crack propagation in complex structures.
      799Scopus© Citations 29
  • Publication
    Thermal shock resistance of polycrystalline cubic boron nitride
    The effect of thermal shock on the exural strength has been investigated experimentally. It was found that the variation in exural strength with quench temperature was influenced by the CBN grain size. Polycrystalline material containing small CBN grains showed a discontinuous drop in measured exural strength above a material dependent critical quench temperature difference, delta Tc. The sharp decrease in measured strength is accompanied by unstable crack propagation. Material containing a significantly larger CBN grain size, exhibited a gradual decrease in strength above the critical quench conditions. The experimental observations agreed with an established theory developed for thermal shock of alumina. The theoretically calculated critical temperatures agree well with the observed experimental data for each material when a aw size equal to the CBN grain size is employed.
      854Scopus© Citations 16
  • Publication
    Micro-Mechanical Modelling of Void Growth, Damage and Fracture of Nano-Phase Structural Adhesives Using the Finite Volume Method
    (The European Structural Integrity Society Technical Committee, 2011) ; ; ;
    Significant toughening of structural adhesives is attainable with the addition of nano and/or micro particles1,2,3. A deep understanding of the effect of particle de-bonding and subsequent void growth to coalescence is key to evaluating the strengthening and failure mechanisms occurring in the damage and fracture of these adhesives. Tapered Double Cantilever Beam (TDCB) experiments, conducted at University College Dublin (UCD), have observed a significant dependence of the fracture toughness of these adhesives on bond gap thickness5. In conjunction with this change in fracture toughness, scanning electronmicroscopy (SEM) of the fracture surface has also revealed corresponding changes in void evolution as the bond gap is varied. Classical analysis suggests the change in toughness may be attributed to a physical constraint of the size to which the plastic zone around a crack tip may develop6. However, simulation of these TDCB tests using finite volume stress analysis has found that little plasticity develops in the bulk adhesive layer and is instead concentrated in the fracture process zone. The change in fracture toughness and void evolution present can be attributed to the change in triaxiality at different bond gap thicknesses and the results agree quite well with the void growth model of Rice & Tracey4. The variance of void growth with triaxiality is investigated here. The initial work considered here concerned 3D modelling of a void in an elastic perfectly plastic material with a view to verifying exponential dependence of void growth on the macroscopic stress triaxiality in the system in accordance with the Rice & Tracey model. The model examines void growth rate dependence on the stress triaxiality, for a given effective strain.
      431