Failure of a pre-cracked epoxy sandwich layer in shear

S. Askarinejad, M.D. Thouless, N.A. Fleck (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Adhesive joints are frequently used in automotive, maritime and construction applications, yet joint reliability remains a concern. The purpose of this study is to develop a fracture mechanics methodology for the failure of an elastic-brittle lap-shear joint comprising a thick adhesive layer (an epoxy, of thickness on the order of 10 mm) sandwiched between thick steel adherends. This configuration is of practical application to ship-building, such as the bonding of a superstructure to the underlying hull. A modified thick-adherend shear test (TAST) is designed, and specimens are fabricated, with a range of interfacial pre-crack length and a range of adhesive layer thickness. The failure of samples with no pre-crack is governed by a critical value of corner singularity, whereas the failure of samples with long pre-cracks is governed by a critical value of interfacial stress intensity factor. Predictions for the dependence of failure load upon layer thickness and pre-crack length are obtained by analysing the elastic stress state for both a corner singularity and for an interfacial crack. Both the experimental results and the theoretical framework are useful in the design and fabrication of reliable lap-shear joints that comprise a thick elastic adhesive layer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104134
JournalEuropean Journal of Mechanics - A/Solids
Early online date15 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


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