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**EFFICIENT MODELLING OF COMPLEX
**

ADHESIVELY BONDED STRUCTURES BY STANDARD FINITE ELEMENT TECHNIQUES

A Dissertation Submitted to the PhD school of High Mechanics and Automotive Design and Technology, Modelling and Mechanical Design Methods

for the Degree of Doctor of philosophy by Ing. Andrea Spaggiari

Tutor: Prof. Antonio Strozzi Co-Tutor Prof. Eugenio Dragoni

Doctoral school in High Mechanics and Automotive Design & Technology - Advanced Methods for Mechanical Design

2

Andrea Spaggiari

Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought Albert Szent-Györgyi

There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after. J.R.R. Tolkien

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. Richard P. Feynman

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Albert Einstein

Doctoral school in High Mechanics and Automotive Design & Technology - Advanced Methods for Mechanical Design

4

Andrea Spaggiari

Doctoral school in High Mechanics and Automotive Design & Technology - Advanced Methods for Mechanical Design

1.

SUMMARY

This thesis describes the method and the results of my research in the adhesively bonded constructions. The main objectives of my research were the development of methodology for the efficient analysis of the bonded constructions and the validation of the proposed method. In particular there is a lack of simple design tool which guide the adhesive joint designer in using Finite Element Method, especially for the industrial world. These limitations can be overcome with the proposed Tied Mesh (TM) method, which is the core of my thesis. The TM method relies on structural elements to model the adherends and on solid elements for the adhesive modelling, linked with kinematic constraints (the Tied Mesh). These elements are present in the vast majority of the commercial FE software. The proposed method was extensively analyzed and compared with other solution retrieved in literature: analytical, numerical and experimental methods. Each of this approaches imply some drawbacks. The analytical approach can analyze only 2D simple joints and implies a lot of approximation, the numerical solution via full FE model (FM) draws to complex model, long time of analysis and often cannot solve complex 3D structures, the experimental test are time consuming and expensive. The TM method overcomes these problems combining efficiency and accuracy. The TM method is compared with the other solutions in terms of stresses, displacement, stiffness, peak force and deformation energy. The elastic analysis shows excellent prediction of the TM model both versus the analytical methods and FM, with a speed up ratio of 50 times. The post elastic analysis show a good prediction of TM in terms of force displacement curves both against FM and experimental. These analyses show the capability of the TM method to support both stress based criteria for the failure of the adhesive and cohesive zone model approach. The TM method in the post elastic field and in 3D analyses may be 2000 times faster than the full FE model. The results of the TM method were presented during the three years of my PhD in many international congresses and accepted as papers both in national and international journals. The overall evaluation of the TM method is that this simplified approach is able to obtain high numerical efficiency and good results compared with the other methods, and when the complexity of the problems increases it became the only valid option for the analysis of the bonded structures.

Andrea Spaggiari

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Andrea Spaggiari

2.

SOMMARIO

Il presente lavoro di tesi riporta la sintesi dei risultati della ricerca sulle problematiche delle costruzioni incollate affrontate durante il periodo di dottorato. I principali obiettivi del lavoro sono la ricerca e lo sviluppo di una metodologia efficiente ed efficace per l’analisi delle strutture incollate e la verifica del metodo proposto. Si intende colmare la mancanza di strumenti progettuali per le costruzioni incollate in campo industriale, ciò, infatti, limita l’utilizzo degli adesivi strutturali come metodo di giunzione leggero ed efficace. In particolare lo strumento principe per l’analisi strutturale, cioè il metodo degli elementi finiti (FEM), presenta problemi di implementazione che ne rendono difficile l’applicabilità nelle strutture incollate. Queste limitazioni possono essere superate adottando il metodo proposto, denominato “Tied Mesh”. Questo metodo è basato sull’utilizzo di elementi strutturali per la modellazione degli aderendi e su elementi solidi per la modellazione dell’adesivo, uniti uno con l’altro per mezzo di vincoli cinematici (in inglese appunto Tied Mesh). Questi elementi sono normalmente già presenti nei programmi FEM più diffusi. Il metodo proposto è confrontato con diverse soluzioni: con modelli analitici di letteratura, con il metodo agli elementi finiti classico e con prove sperimentali. Ognuno di questi presenta alcuni difetti peculiari: l’approccio analitico è applicabile solo a semplici geometrie bidimensionali e implica alcune approssimazioni, il metodo FEM classico porta modelli computazionalmente molto pesanti, con tempi di calcolo lunghi ed è spesso inapplicabile a strutture 3D mentre le prove sperimentali sono costose e complesse da gestire. Il metodo Tied Mesh si propone di risolvere questi problemi combinando efficienza di calcolo e accuratezza dei risultati. Il confronto con le altre soluzioni è fatto in termini di tensioni, spostamenti, rigidezza, forza massima sopportabile dalla struttura ed energia di deformazione. L’analisi elastica mostra una previsione eccellente del metodo Tied Mesh sia in confronto a modelli analitici sia rispetto al FEM classico, con tempi di analisi mediamente 50 volte più brevi. L’analisi numerica al di là del limite elastico evidenzia che il confronto in termini di curve forzaspostamento è buono sia rispetto alle prove sperimentali che al metodo FEM classico. Il metodo Tied Mesh in campo post-elastico se applicato ad analisi 3D arriva però ad essere anche 2000 volte più veloce del metodo FEM puro. I risultati mostrano anche la versatilità del metodo proposto di supportare sia criteri di cedimento alle tensioni sia basati su approcci energetici come il modello di zona coesiva, non essendo legato ad alcuna specifica implementazione, ma basato su elementi standard.

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Il metodo proposto ed i risultati ottenuti sono stati presentati durante tutto il periodo di dottorato in diversi congressi nazionali ed internazionali e pubblicati su libri e riviste internazionali. La valutazione complessiva del metodo Tied Mesh è molto positiva. Questo approccio semplificato è in grado di ottenere grande efficienza di calcolo e risultati accurati e può diventare l’unico metodo numerico applicabile in caso di analisi di complesse strutture incollate tridimensionali.

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CONTENTS

1. SUMMARY .......................................................................................................................................... 5

2.

SOMMARIO ........................................................................................................................................ 7

3.

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 13 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.3.1 3.3.2 3.3.3 3.3.4 Motivation ..................................................................................................................................... 13 Structure of the thesis .................................................................................................................... 14 Original contribution of the author ................................................................................................ 15 Papers published on International Journals .............................................................................. 15 Papers published on National Books ......................................................................................... 15 Papers presented at International Congress ............................................................................. 15 Papers presented at National Congress .................................................................................... 16

4.

Literature review .............................................................................................................................. 17 4.1 4.1.1 Stress analysis of bonded joints ..................................................................................................... 17 Analytical methods .................................................................................................................... 18 Volkersen shear analysis ................................................................................................... 18 Goland and Reissner ......................................................................................................... 20 Hart-Smith ......................................................................................................................... 23 Bigwood and Crocombe .................................................................................................... 24

4.1.1.1 4.1.1.2 4.1.1.3 4.1.1.4 4.1.2

Numerical methods ................................................................................................................... 26 Classic finite elements methods ....................................................................................... 26 Special purpose 2D elements............................................................................................ 26 Special purpose 3D elements............................................................................................ 29

4.1.2.1 4.1.2.2 4.1.2.3 4.2 4.2.1

Failure criteria for bonded joints .................................................................................................... 31 Stress based criteria .................................................................................................................. 31 Maximum principal stress ................................................................................................. 31 Von Mises equivalent stress ............................................................................................. 31 Independent mode stresses ............................................................................................. 31

4.2.1.1 4.2.1.2 4.2.1.3 4.2.2

Strain based criteria ................................................................................................................... 32 Maximum shear or peel strain criterion ........................................................................... 32 Peak maximum principal strain criterion .......................................................................... 32

4.2.2.1 4.2.2.2 4.2.3

Energy based criteria ................................................................................................................ 32 Maximum plastic energy density criterion ....................................................................... 32

4.2.3.1

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4.2.3.2 4.2.3.3 4.2.4 5.

Fracture Mechanics ........................................................................................................... 33 Cohesive zone model approach ........................................................................................ 33

Concluding remarks.................................................................................................................... 34

Development of efficient FE methods for bonded structures ............................................................ 37 5.1 5.1.1 5.1.2 5.1.3 5.1.4 5.2 5.2.1 5.2.2 Preliminary finite element analysis ................................................................................................. 38 Full Model .................................................................................................................................. 39 Stiffness correction method ....................................................................................................... 40 Tied mesh method ..................................................................................................................... 41 Preliminary analysis results and discussion................................................................................ 41 Systematic analyses of a 2D single lap joints.................................................................................. 44 Design of numerical campaign ................................................................................................... 44 Systematic analysis results and discussion ................................................................................. 46

6.

Validation of the tied mesh method in the elastic range ................................................................... 51 6.1 6.1.1 6.1.2 6.1.3 6.2 6.2.1 6.2.2 6.2.3 6.3 6.3.1 6.3.2 6.3.3 Wavy single lap 2D joint ................................................................................................................. 51 Full FE method............................................................................................................................ 52 Tied mesh method ..................................................................................................................... 52 Wavy single lap joint results and discussion .............................................................................. 53 Square bracket 3D joints................................................................................................................. 54 Full FE method............................................................................................................................ 55 Tied mesh method ..................................................................................................................... 56 3D square bracket results and discussion .................................................................................. 56 Tubular single lap joint ................................................................................................................... 57 Full FE method............................................................................................................................ 58 Tied mesh method ..................................................................................................................... 59 Tubular joint results and discussion ........................................................................................... 59

7.

Validation of the tied mesh method in the post elastic range ........................................................... 61 7.1 7.1.1 7.1.2 7.1.3 7.1.4 7.2 7.2.1 T-peel joint 2D................................................................................................................................. 61 Design of the test campaign ....................................................................................................... 61 Full FE method............................................................................................................................ 66 Tied mesh method ..................................................................................................................... 66 2D T-peel joint results and discussion ........................................................................................ 67 Post elastic analysis of a 3D T-peel joint ......................................................................................... 76 Failure criterion of the adhesive ................................................................................................ 77

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7.2.2 7.2.3 7.2.4 8.

Full FE method ........................................................................................................................... 77 Tied mesh method ..................................................................................................................... 78 3D T-peel joint results and discussion ....................................................................................... 79

Systematic validation against experimental results .......................................................................... 83 8.1 8.1.1 8.1.2 8.1.3 8.2 8.2.1 Validation against experimental tests on single lap joints............................................................. 83 Joint preparation and execution................................................................................................ 83 Tied mesh model ....................................................................................................................... 85 Experimental results and discussion.......................................................................................... 85 Validation against experimental tests on T-peel joints .................................................................. 88 Design of experiment ................................................................................................................ 88 Joint preparation and execution ....................................................................................... 88

8.2.1.1 8.2.2

Tied mesh method ..................................................................................................................... 90 Failure criterion for the adhesive...................................................................................... 91 Finite element procedure ................................................................................................. 91

8.2.2.1 8.2.2.2 8.2.3 8.3 8.3.1 8.3.2 8.3.3 8.3.4

Experimental results and discussion.......................................................................................... 93 Experimental tests on tubular butt joints....................................................................................... 98 Design of experiment ................................................................................................................ 99 Experimental set-up ................................................................................................................ 100 Tied Mesh model of a tubular butt joint ................................................................................. 102 Butt joint results and discussion .............................................................................................. 103 Analytic consideration about the joint mechanics ......................................................... 106 Experimental test discussions ......................................................................................... 108 Tied Mesh method discussion ........................................................................................ 109

8.3.4.1 8.3.4.2 8.3.4.3 9.

General discussion .......................................................................................................................... 111 9.1 9.2 9.2.1 9.2.2 9.3 Comparison in the in the elastic range ......................................................................................... 111 Comparison in the in the post-elastic range ................................................................................ 112 Tied mesh method against full FE method .............................................................................. 113 Tied mesh method against experimental results .................................................................... 115 Concluding remarks ..................................................................................................................... 116 Future works .............................................................................................................................. 117

10.

11.

Conclusions ................................................................................................................................ 119

12.

Bibliography ............................................................................................................................... 121

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12.1 12.2

Original contribution of the author .............................................................................................. 121 References .................................................................................................................................... 122

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3. Introduction

3.1 Motivation

This PhD thesis deals with the modelling of adhesively bonded structures using the finite elements method. The motivation beneath this research is the increasing application of the adhesives as joining techniques in the industrial world. This is mainly due to their versatility and is a consequence of the spread of the composite material in several fields, since the adhesive bonding is the main joining method for these light materials. The increased application of adhesive bonding was accompanied by the development of mathematical and numerical methods to analyze or predict the behaviour of those joints, but nowadays this is still an open problem. Finite element models (FEM) is a powerful tool useful to simulate the behaviour of general construction but its application to bonded joints is not an easy task. The crude application of the FEM to the bonded structures may lead to two different problems: heavy computational models or inaccurate prediction of stresses and strength. The first issue occurs when the mesh size is lead by adhesive thickness, which causes an explosion of the degree of freedom of the model. The second issue occurs when the mesh size is lead by adherend characteristic dimension, which makes the solver unable to catch the complex stress field in the adhesive layer and may lead to bad strength prediction. The methods retrieved in literature are mainly based either on special elements or on the application of the standard FEM. On the one hand the special elements synthesize the adhesiveadherend interface, but they are quite complex to build and are mainly used into the academia. On the other hand the standard FEM is exploitable only upon simple 2D structures, having the above described problem of the explosion of degree of freedom. These are the two main drawbacks which had limited the transfer of the adhesive technology to the industrial world so far. The aim of my thesis is to develop and verify an efficient finite element method which is able to simulate complex bonded structure using no special elements. The development is carried on using the standard option present in the majority of the most widespread commercial FE software (like ABAQUS, ANSYS etc) and the validation is carried on versus full finite element model and versus experimental tests.

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The efficient method developed shows a great potential in the analysis of the adhesively bonded structures for two main reasons. First the tied mesh method is very fast, near 50 times faster with respect to the full model in 2D and the performance increases in 3D problems. Second a FE analysis of a complex 3D bonded structures could be achieved with the application of the tied mesh method while the application of the full FE method lead to an explosion of the degree of freedom and to an unsolvable model. The applicability of the method mainly to the thin walled structures does not affect the generality of the solution because the most common industrial applications of the adhesive bonding involve thin walled constructions, especially with composite.

**3.2 Structure of the thesis
**

My thesis is structured presenting at first a literature review of the several methods for the adhesive modelling (Section 4). First are presented the stress analysis techniques in the elastic field by means of analytical tools (4.1) and second the numerical methods mainly with FEM techniques and special purpose elements (4.1.2). In order to predict the behaviour of a bonded structure there is also the need to find a failure criterion for the adhesive. A literature review in this field is presented (4.2) showing that researchers proposed lots of criteria based on stress, strain or energy, but none of this criteria has been proven to be so general to be correctly used to model the adhesive regardless the application. It appears difficult in particular to find a unique criterion in literature because the adhesive failure is strongly influenced both by the adherends thickness, the surface preparation and maybe the adhesive/cohesive failure mode. The core of my thesis is the development of efficient FE methods which are able to simulate correctly the behaviour of adhesive constructions (Section 5). This aim will be achieved exploiting the structural elements available in all standard FE software such as beam or shells for the modelling of the adherends. The bonded structures are mainly obtained joining thin adherends which may be suitably modelled using shells. Structural elements save a lot of degree of freedom in the model having a great computational efficiency. The shells which normally lie on the midplane of the adherends create a geometrical gap between the adhesive and the adherends: this must be taken into account in the model. I tried two different approaches to fill up this gap: the stiffness correction (SC) method (5.1.2) and the tied mesh (TM) method (5.1.3). A systematic campaign of numerical analysis on a 2D single lap joints showed that the TM method is better in the stress prediction and so the SC method is abandoned.

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I tested the efficient TM method in order to verify its applicability. At first it was tested in the stress analysis versus a full finite element model both in 2D and in 3D structure (Section 6). Secondly it was tested in the post elastic range against a full FE model adopting very different post elastic behaviour for the adhesive (Section 7). In the end a validation against experimental tests was performed on different geometries (Section 8).

3.3 Original contribution of the author

**3.3.1 Papers published on International Journals
**

(a) Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Failure analysis of bonded T-peel joints: efficient modelling by standard finite elements with experimental validation, International journal of Adhesion and Adhesives – in press, doi 10.1016/j.ijadhadh.2009.10.004 (b) Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Robust shape optimization of tubular butt joint for characterizing thin adhesive layers under uniform direct and shear stresses” Accepted on the Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology – in press. (c) Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Efficient Post-Elastic Analysis of Bonded Joints by Standard Finite Element Techniques” Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology 23 (2009) 1459–1476.

**3.3.2 Papers published on National Books
**

(d) A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Analisi a collasso di giunzioni incollate: modellazione efficiente agli elementi finiti e convalida sperimentale” Book “Seconda giornata di studio Ettore Funaioli” Asterisco Edizioni ISBN 978-88-866909-53-2 pp. 57-6 (e) E. Dragoni, D. Castagnetti, A. Spaggiari “Calcolo efficiente del comportamento strutturale di costruzioni incollate complesse” Book Giornata di studio in onore di Ettore Funaioli. Alma-DL, p. 69-88, ISBN/ISSN: 978-88-902128-9-5

**3.3.3 Papers presented at International Congress
**

(f) A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Efficient finite element modeling of the static collapse of complex bonded structures” Proceeding of the International Conference on CRACK PATHS (CP 2009) Vicenza 23 - 25 September, 2009.

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(g) A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni "Failure analysis of bonded t-peel joints: efficient modelling by standard finite elements with experimental validation" Proceeding of Euradh ‘September '08 Oxford, UK.

**3.3.4 Papers presented at National Congress
**

(h) A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Verifica sperimentale di modelli efficienti agli elementi finiti per la previsione del collasso statico di strutture incollate complesse” Proceedings of the XXXVIII AIAS Congress –, 9-11 September 2009, Turin. (i) A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni "Legame tra spessore e resistenza statica in adesivi soggetti a sollecitazione tangenziale uniforme" Proceedings of the XXXVII AIAS congress, September 2008, Rome, IT. (j) A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, “ABAQUS per la simulazione efficiente del comportamento strutturale di costruzioni incollate complesse” 18 ° Abaqus Regional Users’ Meeting –Turin, 21-23 November 2007 (k) A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Metodi efficienti agli elementi finiti per l’analisi a collasso di strutture incollate” Proceedings of XXXVI AIAS congress, September 2008, Naples.

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4. Literature review

4.1 Stress analysis of bonded joints

The stress analysis of bonded joints is a challenging task because of the complex stress field into the adhesive layer. Material mismatch and different elastic modulus are the two main problems which causes stress concentrations at the interface which may become infinite for particular geometries. Even a qualitative analysis makes clear that considering only adhesive shear and rigid adherends (Figure 4-1a) is a too strong simplification of the problem of adhesive joint. We can consider the single lap joint (SLJ) representative of the behaviour of most adhesive bonded joints, as already done by Adams [1] and Da Silva [2]. The substrates of the SLJ are not rigid and so they stretch more near their loaded end, as shown in Figure 4-1b. Thus the shear stress that is generated is not uniform but peaks at the overlap ends where the differential substrate extension is greatest. Moreover there is the rotation of the adherends caused by the arm between the pull forces which lead not only to shear stresses but also to peel stresses in the adhesive layer, as shown in Figure 4-2.

(a) Rigid adherends – wrong assumption

(b) Flexible adherends – non uniform strain

Figure 4-1 – Adhesive deformation in a single lap joint: rigid adherends (a) and flexible adherends (b) The simple bonded joint illustrated in Figure 4-1 and Figure 4-2 shows that adhesive structures in reality contains a fairly complex state of adhesive stresses. In order to analyze the stress state in the adhesive layer several analytical and numerical models can be retrieved in literature starting from simple mathematical considerations up to complex special purpose finite element models.

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Figure 4-2 - Shear stress distribution on the top and peel stresses on the bottom of the SLJ

4.1.1 Analytical methods

4.1.1.1 Volkersen shear analysis

This is the first approach to the problem of the adhesive stress calculation carried on by Volkersen in the 1938 [3]. The shear analysis is carried on considering a single lap joints with overlap distance L and adhesive thickness t, shown in Figure 4-3.

L L/2 + x + u1 F E1 t 1 d E2 t 2 d0 L/2 + x + u2 ta F

Figure 4-3 - Volkersen analysis of the single lap joint Considering only the shear component ( η ) in the adhesive and the displacement starting from the centre of the overlap expressed in terms of adherend strain we have:

u1

x L/2

ε1dx

u2

x L/2

ε2 dx

(1)

In equation (1) u1 is the displacement of the upper adherend in functions and u 2 is the displacement of the lower one. This leads to an expression of the shear stress in which we may substitute the equation (1).

η

Gγ G

d ta

G

d0

u2 u1 ta

(2)

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The strain on the adherend can be obtained considering the applied forces P , the shear forces distributed along P and the adherend stiffness parameters E1 and t1 for the upper adherend and E2 and t2 for the lower adherend:

ε1 Ea t1

P

x

L/2

ηdx

ε 2 Ea t 2

x

L/2

ηdx

(3)

By combining the equation (3) and differentiating twice for x we obtain:

d 2η dx2

the ω group which is:

G η ta E1t1

η E2t2

(4)

The equation (4) can be rewritten considering the same adherend material (E1=E2=Em) by using

ω

GL2 t 2 t1 Emt1t 2t a

d 2η dx2

ω L

2

η

(5)

The solution of the equation which represent the shear distribution of the stresses in the adhesive layer maybe expressed normalized with respect to the average stress.

η η av

ω cosh ω

x L ω 2 sinh 2

(t1 (t1

x t2 ) L t 2 ) 2 cosh ω 2 ω sinh ω

(6)

Several considerations may be done by considering the terms of the final equations (6). Equation (6) confirms the peak at the adhesive ends (L=±0.5) and those peak are described by the following equation if the joint is long enough.

η η av

ω 2

(t1 t2 ) (t1 t2 )

(7)

Equation (7) suggests that the more the adherend thickness is different the more the peak shear stress is high. This explain why normally we have the same thickness t1

t 2 which implies

(8)

η η av

ω 2

GL2 2 Emta d

The equation (8) is very useful as a first design tool because shows that: peak stress increases as adhesive shear modulus (G) increases peak stress increases as adhesive thickness (ta) decreases peak stress increases as adherend material elastic modulus (Em) decreases The main drawback of the Volkersen analyses is that it disregards the peel stresses which arise in the adhesive layer due to the bending arm between the applied forces. This effect should be taken into account because the adhesive is very sensitive to this peel stresses.

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4.1.1.2

Goland and Reissner

Following the historical order we found a fundamental work by Goland and Reissner (1944) about the stress in the so called “cemented joints” [4]. This work is an extension of the previous one because it considers the peel stresses and the bending moment factor. The works deals with the single lap joint considering first the load boundary conditions and then deriving the expressions for the adhesive shear (τ) and peel stresses (σ). A differential element of a slice through the bonded region is considered (Figure 4-4a) and the adhesive is modelled as a spring with both shear and transverse stiffness so that stresses are assumed constant through the thickness.

F1 F F M1

V1 τ σ

V1 +dV1 F+dF1 σ τ M1 +dM1

F2 M2 V 2 dx

(a) (b)

V2 +dV2 F2 +dF2 M1 +dM1

Figure 4-4 – Slice of SLJ joint (a) and schematic load on the differential portion of the sandwich (b) Considering the load as “remote” we have, referring to Figure 4-4,

F1

F2

F

M1

M2

F

t 2

(9)

And from equilibrium consideration we have:

dF1 dx

η

dM 1 dx

dF2 dx

V1

η

η t1 2 0

dV1 dx

ζ

dM 2 dx V2

dV2 dx

η t2 2

ζ

0

(10) (11)

The strain at the interface may be written as reported in equation (12) and (13):

du1 dx

1 ν12 P 1 E1t1

M 1t12 2I i

du2 dx

2 1 ν2 P2 E2t2

2 M 2t 2 2I 2

2 (1 ν2 ) M 2 E2t 2

(12)

d 2 v1 dx 2

(1 ν12 ) M 1 E1t1

d 2 v2 dx 2

(13)

The reduction of the flexural stiffness due to the adhesive is ignored in the Goland and Reissner approach and shear deformation in the adherends are neglected as being small compared with flexural deformation. Thus the flexural stiffness is:

20 Andrea Spaggiari

S

Et 3 12(1 ν 2 )

(14)

Since the shear and peel stresses are assumed constant we may write:

η

G (u 2 u1 ) d

ζ

E (v2 v1 ) d

(15)

From the double differentiation of the shear expression in (15) and differentiating one time the peel expression in (15) and using the expression reported in (10) and (11) we have:

d 2η dx 2

G 1 ν2 2η 0 d Et

t (t d ) 4S

t (V2 V1 ) 2S

(16)

On differentiating equation (16) once and using the equation (10) to substitute and remove

V1 and V 2 we find:

d 3η dx3

Where:

δ c

2

dη dx

0

(17)

δ2

8G (1 ν 2 ) 3d 2 1 c dEt 4t

(18)

Following a similar procedure we may found a differential relationship for the peel stress:

d 3ζ dx3

E (V1 V2 ) Sd

d 4ζ dx4

2E ζ Sd

0

(19)

These differential relationships will be integrated in order to obtain the closed form solution both for shear and peel stresses. Before achieving the closed form solution it has to be taken into account another aspect peculiar of the SLJ, the rotation of the section and the bending arm between the applied forces. The joint will rotate on loading and the line of action of the load will move closer to the substrate centre line thus reducing the moment. This can be accommodated by introducing a multiplying factor (k) to reduce the bending moment. To account for the joint rotation the joint can be split into two regions, the free region of the adherend and the bonded region as shown in Figure 4-5 and the transverse deflection is determined for each region.

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Figure 4-5 – Goland and Reissner approach to the stress analysis of a SLJ The unique unknown parameter is the deflection of the neutral axes of the two regions, wa and wb. Equations for the bending moment and thus the curvature can be written for both the regions.

d 2 wa dx 2 d 2 wb dx 2 Mb Eb I b

Ma Ea I a P(α ( La

P ( αx a Ea I a xb ) wb Eb I b

wa )

(20)

0.5(t

d ))

(21)

Equation (20) and (21) are second order differential equations in wa and wb respectively and can be solved obtaining the desired solution with the following boundary conditions: the deflection is zero at the opposite end of region A and B and the deflections and slopes at the connection of regions A and B are continuous. The solution produces a sandwich bending moment of:

M 11

k

Pt 2

(22)

k

c cosh u2 c cosh u2 2 2c sinh u2

u2

3(1 ν 2 ) P 2dE

(23)

The parameter k varies from a value of 1 at low loads to a minimum of around 0.26 for high loads and is used to take into account the undeformed moment. Using these boundary conditions and integrating the differential formulation of tangential stress (17) leads to the following closed form equations for adhesive shear in single lap joint:

η η av

β x 1 βc(1 3k ) t βc 4 t sinh t cosh

β 8tG Ed

3(1 k )

(24)

where

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**Moreover this procedure allows the peel stresses for the single lap joint to be calculated:
**

2

ζ P/t

t c

1 A1

A2 λ2

k 2 k 2

**λk ' cos λ cosh λ cosh λk ' senλsenhλ senh
**

c Vi t Ti

λx λx cos c c λx λx sin c c

(25)

A3 λ2

where

λ

A2

c 4 6 Ea t t Ed

k'

(26)

A1

senh 2 λ sen 2 λ 2

senh λ cos λ cosh λsen λ

A3

senhλ cos λ cosh λsenλ

(27)

The graphical representation of the shear and peel stresses is reported in Figure 4-6. According to the previous equation we may notice that shear stresses at the border are not zero which is not realistic, but in several works by Carpenter [4] and other researchers these prediction have been proved to be good against highly refined numerical model.

Figure 4-6 – Typical shear and peel stress distribution along the bondline of a SLJ 4.1.1.3 Hart-Smith

The work of Hart-Smith [6] which comes in the 1973 is an improvement of the previously analyzed Goland and Reissner’s work [4]. He proposed to model the deformation of the upper and lower substrates in the overlap region separately and not as a whole composite sandwich. His approach involved the solution of the adhesive stresses and the bending moments at the same time and provides the bending moment factor k in a different formula, which is described in (28) using the previous annotation:

k

1

d 6 t 6 6ψc ψ 2 c 2

ψ

2 2u2c

(28)

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23

The expression shows that the moment factor varies from unity at low loads to zero with increasing loads. In the subsequent years other researchers carried on studies on the accuracy of the Goland and Reissner and Hart smith theory. For instance Tsai and Morton [7] review both these approaches and concluded both approach are valid basing their work on comparison with numerical studies. In particular Hart-Smith [6] give better end moments for short overlap but with regard adhesive stresses, the Goland and Reissner [4] approach is accurate enough for short and long overlaps. 4.1.1.4 Bigwood and Crocombe

The work of Bigwood and Crocombe [8] generalize the analysis developed by Goland and Reissner [4] only for the single lap joint so that it can be applied to an arbitrary end loaded sandwich configuration. The resulting analyses can be applied to the single overlap joints and to many other configurations, as shown in Figure 4-7.

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

Figure 4-7 – Tubular joint (a), T-peel joint, Single lap joint with transverse load, L-joint The work of Bigwood and Crocombe [30] is very useful because it allows us to describe several different joint using only a differential equation for the shear stress and one for the peel stresses. The boundary conditions are on the contrary dependent on the geometry on the joint and on the applied load. The final differential expressions are:

d 7η dx7

K1

d 5η dx5

K3

d 3η dx3

K5

dη 0 dx

(29)

d 6ζ dx6

K1

d 4ζ dx4

K3

d 2ζ dx2

K 5ζ

0

(30)

The solution of these equation cannot be done analytically for a general single overlap joint (Figure 4-7) but they can be easily solved numerically. However for the case of the axially loaded single lap joint these equation leads to the solution proposed by Goland and Reissner [4].

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In order to avoid the numerical solution of equations (29) and (30), a simplification can be made obtaining simplified design formulae. This simplification, which neglects the interactions between adhesive shear and peel stress, decouples the above equations. By making the same assumptions as those in the Volkersen [3] analysis is possible to find approximate expressions for the stresses at the end of the overlap in terms of simple design formulae. With respect to the Volkersen [3] analysis these formulae give both stress components (shear and peel) in the adhesive. Moreover these formulas can take into account not only axial loads but also transverse and flexional loads. The simplified formulas are based on a slice of a sandwich with the external load transferred to its ends as shown in Figure 4-4. Table 4-1 – Simplified design formula for shear and peel stress for the three type of loads considered

Shear stress Peel stress

η

α1 F α1 α2

0

η

3V 4t1

η ζ

3

3α1M t α1 α2 β1M t β1 β2

ζ

4

2 β1V ( β1 β2 )

The parameters α1, α2 and β 1, β2 are called the shear and peel compliance factors and are the definition given for the upper adherends, is:

α

G (1 ν 2 ) E1t1d

β

12 E (1 ν 2 ) E1t13 d

(31)

with similar expressions for the lower adherends. The simplifications made in the Table 4-1 are only completely valid for identical substrates (t1 = t2 = t), in this case we can simplify the design formulae obtaining: Table 4-2 – Simplified design formula in case of identical adherends

Shear stress Peel stress

η

F

0

α 8

η

3V 4t

η

3M t

α 2

ζ

V4

β 2

ζ

V

β 2

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25

By comparison with equation (8) it can be noticed some differences. First the implicit hypothesis of plane strain behaviour rather than plane stress condition of Volkersen [3] model produces the Poisson’s factor ( 1 ν ). Second, the stresses given by Volkersen [3] are exactly twice that found

2

from the more general analysis. This difference is caused by the fact that, in Volkersen [3] the sandwich is assumed as plain stress. This is clearly wrong as, from static considerations, the adhesive shear stress induce a moment in the adherend. This acts in a way to reduce the adhesive shear stress and the result is quite significant. Thus Volkersen [3] formulae overestimates the peak adhesive stresses by a factor of two and so the simple formulae by Crocombe and Bigwood [30] can give a better prediction.

4.1.2 Numerical methods

Among the numerical models, the finite element method has been extensively used. Different special adhesive elements have been formulated both in two and three dimensions, to capture the main features of stresses in the adhesive layer, through a simple, efficient and cost-effective procedure. 4.1.2.1 Classic finite elements methods

The use of finite element models (FEM) in order to study the adhesive behaviour is widespread in the academic world, but it is limited by the nature of the bonded joints. There are two main problems in the classical FEM approach applied to bonded constructions. First we have to deal with large scale adherends joined by a very thin adhesive layer, which can cause mesh problems and very slow models. Second if we consider a non filleted adhesive normally we found singularities at the corner of the model. Those singularities can be studied by means of very refined FE models and in literature we may find a lot of studies of this kind. Normally the authors are able to analyze only 2D problems due to the computational heaviness of these models. Almost all the authors use plain strain elements in order to represent a slice of a joint model. The geometries are mainly the single lap joint and the double cantilever beam, which is quite common in the fracture mechanics analysis. 4.1.2.2 Special purpose 2D elements

The special purpose elements were born as 2D models, for the sake of simplicity and because of the academic world is mainly interested in modelling adhesive joints. Typical adhesive joints analyzed are: single lap joint (SLJ)

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double lap joint (DLJ) scarf joint (SJ) tapered single lap joint (TSLJ) t-peel joint (TPJ) double cantilever beam (DCB) tapered double cantilever beam (TDCB) These simple joints may be simplified and represented through a bidimensional approach and they are suitable to apply the special purpose elements found in literature. The formulation of the elements and the 2D element formulation are not reported for the sake of brevity. One of the first 2D adhesive elements was presented by Rao et al [9]. They developed a special 6noded isoparametric (Figure 4-8) element for the adhesive layer, compatible with the 8-noded isoparametric quadratic element used to model the adherends. The adhesive layer is assumed to be relatively thin and to behave elastically as simple tension-compression springs and shear springs connecting the adherends; in particular the peel stress is constant through the thickness. The element proposed by Rao [9] is able to describe efficiently simple joint geometries but it is unable to afford non linear analyses or mixed mode loading conditions.

Figure 4-8 – Adhesive 2D element proposed by Rao et al. [9] In a subsequent work, Yadagiri et al. [10] modified the 2D element of Figure 4-8 to include longitudinal and normal stresses and linear viscoelastic response. They proposed a six-noded quadratic isoparametric element is developed with two formulations for the adhesive layer element. Hereditary integrals were used to represent the stress-strain relations. A standard eightnoded quadratic isoparametric plane strain element is used to idealise the adherends. The proposed methods are one stiff and one flexible. In particular for peel stresses the true behaviour can be obtained by a mean of the two formulations. The memory allocation problems are avoided using Prony series, but in order to capture the stress concentration the mesh must be quite refined.

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27

Reddy and Roy [11] proposed a special two-dimensional finite element based on the updated Lagrangian formulation of elastic solids, for geometric and material nonlinear analysis. They implemented also advanced feature as viscoelasticity, non-linear material behaviour, coupled thermal-moisture effects. The element developed is compared to standard finite element software and shows good results. Amijima and Fujii [12] developed a simple one dimensional FEM which can be used to calculate normal and shear stresses in the adhesive layer of adhesive bonded structures. Thermal expansion of both adherends and shrinkage of the adhesive are considered. The model is implemented in order to run onto HP-9000 microcomputers. The bending effect is taken into account and the program may calculate three stress components, as a drawback the material is only linear and it is not possible to consider great displacement or deformations. Carpenter [5] presented a special 2D adhesive element to model the behaviour of the adhesive. His work is concerned with the use of lap joint theories with regard to viscoelastic analysis of adhesively bonded configurations. Viscoelastic analyses of adhesively bonded joints were performed using the Laplace transform technique. The inverse transforms were obtained numerically. The applied direct integration procedure has the advantage that it is computationally simple, has minimal storage requirements, and requires very little programming effort to transform an elastic analysis algorithm into a viscoelastic analysis algorithm. The results obtained with the finite element analysis algorithm described are effectively identical to those of the earlier work. The major drawback of these methods is the upcoming singularities when the adhesive thickness is nearly zero which leads to severe convergence problems. In order to overcome this problem Lin et al. [13]-[14] presented a 2D finite element formulation for single-lap adhesive joints which can analyze the distribution of the shear and normal stresses in a variety of configurations comprehending the zero thickness analysis. This condition is quite common in the adhesive joints and the Lin model is able to catch this aspect. By means of the finite element formulation presented by Lin any possible adhesive-layer conditions and no identical adherends with different thicknesses and different materials in a single-lap joint can be taken into account. Edlund and Klarbring [15] proposed a 2D special finite element which is general and is able to take into account both non linear geometry (large displacements) and material. The adhesive is assumed to be thin and the displacement is assumed to vary linearly through the thickness of the adhesive. A restriction to small strains is implicitly in the model. This element allows the adherend in contact with non-coinciding meshes to be modelled, which is particularly convenient during the pre-processing of the model.

28 Andrea Spaggiari

All these models have the big disadvantage to be 2D which restricts their application to simple joints and to the academic world. In order to make the adhesive exploitable in the industrial world the FEM tools must be transported with ease in the complex industrial structures. In order to do this there is a need of efficient and simple 3D models to model the adhesive. 4.1.2.3 Special purpose 3D elements

Tong and Sun [16] developed a novel finite element formulation for adhesive elements specific for conducting quick stress analysis of bonded repairs to curved structures. They proposed three adhesive elements (8-node, 16-node and 18-node) referred to as 2.5-D.

(a)

(b)

(c)

Figure 4-9 – Tong and Sun 2.5 D element [16]. 6-nodes adhesive element (a), 16-nodes adhesive element (b), 18-nodes shell adhesive element (c)

The elements comprise a pseudo-brick adhesive element and two shell elements located on either side of the adhesive layer. Shell elements are offset by half the thickness of the corresponding wall thickness of the element. These adhesive elements, developed for bonded repairs, provide an efficient and cost effective way to model adhesive bonding. The element is built upon a shell formulation so it can be used only when the structure is thin-walled, which is quite usual for bonded elements. Andruet et al. [17] developed an ad hoc model for 2D and 3D analysis of adhesive joints based on shell and solid elements. The 3D model is more interesting because it allows to model complex structures. The model of the adhesively bonded joint has two main components: the adhesive layer and the adherends (see Figure 4-10). These components are combined in a sandwich-type configuration. The model consists of two adherends represented by general shell elements and the adhesive layer modelled as a solid element with offset nodes in the mid-planes of the adherends.

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(a) (b) Figure 4-10 – Andruet and Dillard [17] 3D elements. Sandwich approach (a) and 3D adhesive nodes with offset (b) This model can include debonds as well as cracks within the adhesive, therefore it can be used for durability analysis of adhesive joints. Since large displacements are often observed in adhesively bonded joints, geometric nonlinearity is modelled. Also in this case the method can describe only thin walled structures. Goncalves et al. [18] proposed a new three dimensional finite element model to study the behaviour of adhesive joints. The model includes an interface element previously developed compatible with brick solid elements from the ABAQUS software. The main objective was to calculate the stresses at the interfaces between adherends and adhesive. This can explain why the interfaces are critical regions regarding adhesive joints failure. The analysis with elasto-plastic materials’ behaviour was performed in order to include a more general situation. As expected, the plasticization induces a decrease of the stress concentrations in the critical regions. The interface element developed can be equipped with a failure criterion in order to correctly model the debonding of the adhesive. This interface elements, however is not able to avoid the numerical problems of the mesh size and computational heaviness because of the need to be connected to brick elements. Even though lot of special elements were developed and can be found in literature none of them is commonly used in the industrial world because of their complex formulations. There is a need of a simple FE method based on standard tools which may be used from a non academic researcher to foster the adhesive technique as a valid bonding choice.

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Andrea Spaggiari

**4.2 Failure criteria for bonded joints
**

Finding a failure criterion for the adhesive is a task even more challenging than the calculation of the stress distribution. Lots of authors in literature proposed very different failure criterion, but there is no accordance about the best one. These criteria could be based on stresses, on deformations, on fracture mechanics or upon energy. It seems also that the criteria for the adhesive may be different if we consider static loading, creep problems cyclic loading and impact loading [19].

**4.2.1 Stress based criteria
**

The first and straightforward solution is trying to apply some kind of stress based criteria. The stresses in bonded construction, however, may become infinite at the corners or very severe peaks may occur at the corners. Thus stress criteria should be used very carefully. 4.2.1.1 Maximum principal stress

A peak maximum principal stress failure criterion has been used extensively by Adams and coworkers [1]. An example of the application of this form of criterion are Harris et al. in [1], predicting the strength of single lap joints to about 10% accuracy using elastoplastic finite element analysis. Aluminium substrates, of differing strengths were bonded using four different adhesives. It was shown that for two of the adhesives a critical stress criterion applied. This was not necessarily related to the ductility exhibited by the adhesive. Only one adhesive thickness and mode of loading have been shown to have an influence on the peak stress. 4.2.1.2 Von Mises equivalent stress

This criterion was used by Ikegami [20] to predict the strength of one component of composite to metal scarf joints (namely adhesive failure) from elastic finite element analysis. Other possible modes of failure were in the substrates and at the interface. The von Mises stress provides an equivalent adhesive stress that can be related to the uniaxial yield stress. However the von Mises yield criterion neglects the hydrostatic component of stress which significantly affects the yield and deformation behaviour of most polymers. When the joint present a biaxial or triaxial loading the hydrostatic component should be taken into account. 4.2.1.3 Independent mode stresses

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31

This criterion, proposed by Goglio et al. [22] focuses the attention of the normal and shear stress components. Based on a wide experimental campaign on bonded joints of different shapes they found that the static strength of adhesively bonded structural joints can be predicted with a simple calculation rule that can assist the designer in everyday engineering practice. The design rule is that the adhesive withstands the load if the representative point on a sigma-tau chart of the stress state lies inside the safe zone. For the tested case, the envelope of the limit zone has an approximately rectangular shape, so once determined the maximum normal and shear stress value the “safe” zone may be found.

**4.2.2 Strain based criteria
**

4.2.2.1 Maximum shear or peel strain criterion

For ductile adhesives shear and peel failure can be conveniently expressed in terms of the adhesive strains. This has also been used by Lee et al. [21] who proposed a failure model for tubular lap joints in torsion which incorporated cohesive failure at low adhesive thicknesses and interfacial failure at higher adhesive thicknesses. The former was governed by a maximum strain criterion while the latter a maximum “reduced” stress criterion. Lots of consideration upon the literature works draws to the conclusion that a single material constant is hardly enough to describe the adhesive behaviour and thus its use is rather restrictive. It has also been shown that this can be interpreted in terms of critical fracture energy and once again its value varies with the adhesive thickness. 4.2.2.2 Peak maximum principal strain criterion

Considering the work of Harris and Adams in [1] we found that for toughened adhesives the maximum principal stress was not as appropriate as maximum principal strain. Applying this criterion, in conjunction with an elastoplastic finite element analysis, reasonable strength predictions were obtained for single lap-joints. The limitation is that these strains are strongly mesh dependent.

**4.2.3 Energy based criteria
**

4.2.3.1 Maximum plastic energy density criterion

Several unjustified adjustment made on the FEM analysis make this approach not very reliable. This is essentially a continuation of the work of Adams et al. [23]. It is pointed out that this

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Andrea Spaggiari

criterion will not work with sharp corners and that an arbitrary rounding (of twice the adhesive thickness) should be used to analyze normal joints. 4.2.3.2 Fracture Mechanics

Fracture mechanics, as used to predict failure in homogeneous bodies has been applied extensively to adhesive joints. Fracture mechanics is the study of the strength of structures which contain flaws such as cracks. Instead of looking at the local value of peak stresses, which are infinite at the crack tip, fracture mechanics assesses if the conditions in the structure are suitable for failure. The principles were set out by Griffith in early ‘900 [24]. He suggested that a brittle system containing flaws will fail when the energy the structure can supply to the crack tip under given loading (the energy release rate G) is equal to the energy required for the crack to propagate (the critical energy release rate GC). A number of other criteria have also been proposed for the prediction of crack propagation including critical stress intensity factor (SIF), a critical value of J integral (Jc) and critical crack opening displacements (dc). The constraining nature of the substrates in adhesive joints cause a number of problems, including the need to consider fracture under combined loading conditions and a dependency of the critical energy release rate on the thickness of the adhesive layer, both effects were reviewed by Kinloch et al [25]. Cracks in homogeneous isotropic materials tend to propagate in mode I, along a path normal to the direction of maximum principal stress, regardless of the orientation of the original flaw. However in an adhesive joint the direction of crack propagation may be constrained by the substrates. It is therefore important to consider fracture under combined loading conditions. The main problems of using the fracture mechanics approach is related to the dependencies of the fracture energy to the adhesive thickness and to the absence of flaws in the adhesive. The so called “inherent adhesive flaws” [26] seems not suitable for bonded joints, because of the dependency of J on the constraining effect of the substrates. 4.2.3.3 Cohesive zone model approach

The cohesive zone model regards fracture as a gradual phenomenon in which separation takes place across an extended crack 'tip', or cohesive zone and is resisted by cohesive tractions [27]. Thus cohesive zone elements do not represent any physical material, but describe the cohesive forces which occur when material elements (such as adhesive) are being pulled apart. Therefore cohesive zone elements are placed between the adherends and the implementation and calibrations of the models is mainly via FEM analysis.

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33

The main asset of this approach is that mixes the stress based approach used to model the elastic range with the energy fracture approach used to model the degradation of the adhesive properties. The basis of this theory may be described by the traction separation law, reported in Figure 4-11, in which we found the ultimate stress (σmax) in y-axis, the displacement at failure (δf) in the x-axis and the fracture energy GC represented by the gray area below the curve. σ (MPa) σmax

E GC δf δ (mm)

Figure 4-11 – Traction separation law of cohesive zone model

The shape of the cohesive law could be triangular, exponential or trapezoidal and the calibration is possible on the basis of the experimental tests. Several authors [28]-[29] proposed failure criteria based on this approach which allow also the impact and cyclic analysis.

4.2.4 Concluding remarks

It is not appropriate to use maximum stress/strain as a criterion in conjunction with a detailed finite element analysis. If sharp corners are modelled then the stresses and/or the strains become singular. If these features are smoothened the maximum values are a function of the rounding used. A maximum stress/strain criterion may be used in conjunction with a closed form type analysis which gives an average value, not a prediction of the structural strength. Application of standard fracture mechanics to a non-cracked problem is particularly difficult. If using a finite element model the virtual crack closure method gives a zero energy release rate (i.e. infinite failure load) for a vanishingly small crack increment. Use of an inherent flaw size is possible but the uniqueness of this for a given adhesive system needs to be determined. Thus pure fracture mechanics and SiF calculations may lead to misleading results.

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Andrea Spaggiari

It appears possible to apply fracture mechanics with cohesive zone model to non-cracked joints using a closed form approach but this requires further investigation. Modelling a local damage zone, such as cohesive zone model, enables plastic energy to be separated from fracture energy and also appears to be equally applicable to non-cracked and cracked configurations.

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35

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Andrea Spaggiari

**5. Development of efficient FE methods for bonded structures
**

The main work of my thesis concerns the research in the field of adhesive bonded joints and aims at developing efficient and accurate finite element techniques for the simplified calculation of adhesive constructions. Goal of the thesis is to avoid the major limitations of existing methods, in particular their dependency on special elements or procedures not supported by general purpose analysis packages. The first attempt is carried on in the elastic field developing an approach which allows the stress analysis of bonded constructions. The stress prediction is clearly not sufficient in order to predict the strength of the bonded construction but it is a valid benchmark for the test of the developed method. The method intends to exploit the capability of synthesis of the structural elements present in the vast majority of the commercial FE software. The structural elements, such as truss and beams for the 2D analysis or the plate or shell elements for the 3D analysis are useful in dealing with thin walled structures. These elements condense the elastic properties of the represented element using only nodes along its midline or midplane thus proving a great saving of degree of freedom of the model. This method was developed in my first year of PhD with the help of my colleague Dott. Davide Castagnetti and the guidance of my supervisor Prof. Eugenio Dragoni and it was only recently published [31]. Since the adhesive technology is mainly used in the industrial world to join metal sheet or composite laminates it is not a real restriction developing an efficient method for the modelling of these kinds of structures. The main issue in using the structural elements for the adherend modelling is finding the right way to connect the adherends and model the adhesive. Because the structural elements have no thickness there is gap between them which is not possible to fill using the real adhesive thickness. I tried two different strategies in order to achieve the connectivity of the joint: the tied mesh method and the stiffness correction method, which are deeply described in the following paragraphs. The two method are tested against a traditional FE model with an high computational heaviness and versus some analytical model previously described [4]. The SLJ is used as a benchmark configuration due to its simplicity which allows the use of the full FE model and the analytical solution available in literature.

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Table 5-1 schematically displays the different methods used in the thesis for the analysis of bonded joints. The first row depicts the real configuration which is a 2D single lap joint. The second row describes the Full Model (FM) consisting in a refined, computationally intensive, finite element model. That model is used in my work to provide an exact reference solution. The third row shows the Tied Mesh (TM) method and the fourth row illustrates the Stiffness Correction (SC) method, the novel reduced techniques proposed in the thesis. Table 5-1 – Reference geometry and FE models for the single lap joint Model Reference geometry Full model (FM) Sketch

Stiffness Correction Method (SC)

s’a = e

Tied Mesh Method (TM)

e

sa

**5.1 Preliminary finite element analysis
**

All three different methods (FM, TM, SC) are applied to the reference geometry of Table 5-1 with dimensions, loading and constraints given in Figure 5-1. Unit thickness in the direction normal to the page is assumed. Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio of the adherends are respectively E=69000 MPa, and ν=0.3 corresponding to aluminium-alloy. A Young’s modulus Ea=2500 MPa and a Poisson’s ratio νa=0.3 are assumed for the adhesive layer, corresponding to a two-part, high strength, epoxy adhesive. Constraints are applied to the adherends’ axes so as to reproduce a fixed support on the left end and a guided support on the right end of the joint. To the guided end, a concentrated load, P, is applied in five increments which produce a geometrically nonlinear response of the joint. In accordance with Goland and Reissner’s analytical model [4], the degree of non-linearity is a function of the parameter:

ξ

c t

p e

(32)

where c represents one half of the overlap length of the joint, t represents the adherend thickness and p is the axial stress applied to the adherends.

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Andrea Spaggiari

Values of k previously calculated in (23) and k’ provided by (26) and are given in for several values of , given by (32). From k and k’, it is possible to recover the values of the bending moment and of the shear force. A practical lower limit of about 0.35 is established for k coming from the average values of overlap and from plate stresses in joints composed of bonded aluminium-alloy. Hence this analytical model considers the geometrically non linear response of the joint in terms of reduction of jointedge moments. This is a consequence of the rotation of the joint due to the load. At the same time small transverse shearing forces are introduced at the joint edges. The degree of non linearity is measured by the parameter ξ . In this preliminary analysis ξ is varied from 0.1 to 0.5 by increments of 0.1. The corresponding concentrated loads are P = 19.2, 76.7, 172.5, 306.7, and 479.2 N, respectively. The chosen interval of parameter ξ produces a variation of the bending factor k ranging from 0.75 to 0.40. Parameter

**ξ instead of k has been used as a measure of the nonlinearity because it depends in a more
**

straightforward way on the design variables of the joint. All the finite element analyses performed include non-linear geometric effects in the solution procedure.

l=25 mm x 2c=12 mm l=25 mm P

t=1 mm t=1 mm e=1.1 mm sa=0.1 mm

Figure 5-1 – Benchmark geometry for the single lap joint

5.1.1 Full Model

The benchmark model (FM - Table 5-1) exactly reproduces the geometry of the joint of Figure 5-1 and incorporates the material properties given above. The mesh is based on quadratic, planestress, rectangular elements with a length of 0.05 mm and a height of 0.025 mm, evenly distributed throughout the model. As a result, four elements are stacked through the thickness of the adhesive layer. Plane stress rather than plain strain elements have been adopted because this condition is implied by the beam elements used to describe the adherends in reduced models TM and SC (see section 5.1.2 and 5.1.3). In order to check the effect of the plane-stress assumption on the stress results, the converged full finite element model has also been analyzed in a plainstrain condition.

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39

The element dimensions adopted in the analysis have been chosen after a mesh convergence procedure focused on the peak stresses arising on the midline of the adhesive. A stress convergence is meaningful along this path, because the midline is free from the theoretical singularities which affect the adhesive/adherend interface at the edges of the overlap. The converged mesh, showing no improvement of results upon further grid refinement, contains 3400 elements and 11649 nodes for a total of 21298 degrees of freedom.

**5.1.2 Stiffness correction method
**

In the SC method the adhesive is extended up to the beam axes: Modified thickness of SC

' sa

e sa

(33)

so no internal constraints are needed. By doing this operation we modify the elastic properties of the joint and this must be taken in to account. Thus the Young’s modulus of the adhesive is increased up to: Modified Young’s Modulus of SC

' Ea ' Ea sa sa

(34)

This correction is introduced to conserve the same stiffness, under peel and shear deformations, as in the original layer. This value comes out from the elastic analysis described in the next section. The preliminary analysis is carried on the geometry of the reference joint by using beams for the adherends and by extending the adhesive layer up to the beam nodes. As a result, the adhesive layer has thickness equal to the adherends eccentricity. The mesh consists of quadratic beam elements along the adherends, having a length equal to the adherends eccentricity. The adhesive layer is modelled by a single strip of quadratic, plane-stress, square elements with a side length equal to the extended thickness of the adhesive layer. The longitudinal dimension of the elements was chosen after several mesh refinement iterations showed converging results. With regard to the material properties, the adherends maintain the previously defined elastic properties while

' Young’s modulus of the adhesive is increased up to Ea ' Ea sa = 27500 MPa, in accordance with sa

the previously defined criterion (conservation of peel and shear stiffness). The model contains 79 elements and 196 nodes for a total of 530 degrees of freedom, about 40 times less than the full model.

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Andrea Spaggiari

**5.1.3 Tied mesh method
**

The reduced TM method used in 2D problems reproduces the adherends with structural beam elements and describe the adhesive with a single layer of continuum plane stress elements. The beam elements lie on the adherend axes thus their distance is equal to the sum of adherend and adhesive thickness. In TM method, the adhesive conserves its true thickness, sa, and is connected, on both sides, to the nodes of the adherend beams with kinematics constraints (tied lines or tied mesh) that enforce equality of the corresponding degrees of freedom. These constraints can be retrieved as a standard option in the commercial FE software such as Abaqus, MSC.Marc, Ansys, etc. The used of those constrain leave a gap between adherends and adhesive and thus avoid all the complexity of the interfacial stress field which is typical of the bonded connection. The preliminary analysis is carried on the reference joint geometry by using beams for the adherends and by conserving the real thickness of the adhesive layer. This choice creates a gap between the adherends, modelled with quadratic beam elements, and the corresponding edges of the adhesive layer, which is discretized by a single row of quadratic, plane-stress, quadrilateral elements. The connectivity between adhesive and adherend meshes is enforced by means of the internal constraints linking the corresponding nodes of the parts. These constraints, realized through the tied mesh option of ABAQUS. The mesh convergence analysis has been carried out in this case too, indicating an optimal element length (for both beams and quadrilaterals) equal to the eccentricity between the adherends. The converged model contains 79 elements and 196 nodes for a total of 530 degrees of freedom, about 40 times less than the full model.

**5.1.4 Preliminary analysis results and discussion
**

The results of the preliminary analysis on the 2D single lap are presented in two sets, one showing the distribution of stresses and displacements over the bondline for a given load and the other showing the evolution of peak stresses for increasing applied loads. In both cases, a comparison between the predictions of finite element methods FM, SC and TM is provided and, limited to the stress results, the forecasts of Goland and Reissner’s analytical model [4] are also included. The first set of results, corresponding to a degree of non linearity ξ = 0.2 (P = 76.7 N), are collected in Figure 5-2a (distribution of longitudinal displacements, u), in Figure 5-2b (distribution of transverse displacements, v), in Figure 5-3a (distribution of peel stresses, ) and Figure 5-3b (distribution of shear stresses, ). All the values of finite element stresses and displacements refer to the midline of the adhesive layer.

Andrea Spaggiari 41

u - E2

0.045 0.044 0.043 0.042 0.041 0.040 0.039 0.038 0.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 x (mm) 8.0 10.0 12.0

u - E2

0.15

0.10

u (mm)

v (mm)

0.05 Method A Method B 0.00Method C 0.0 -0.05 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 10.0 12.0

Method A Method B Method C

-0.10

-0.15 x (mm)

(a)

(b)

Figure 5-2 – Displacements along the midline of the adhesive layer in the 2D single lap for ξ =0.2: (a) distribution of longitudinal displacements, (b) distribution of transverse displacements

S22

40.0

S22

35.0 30.0

Goland & Reissner Method A 25.0 Method B Goland Method C

S12

40.0 35.0 30.0

(MPa)

S12

35.0

25.0

35.0

(MPa)

(MPa)

20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 30.0 0.0 -5.0 -10.0 x (mm)

12.0

**& Reissner Method A 20.0 Method B Method C 15.0
**

10.0

**30.0 Goland & Reissner Method A Method B Method C 25.0
**

(MPa)

Goland & Reissn Method A Method B Method C

20.0 11.9 x (mm)

0.0

2.0

4.0

x (mm)

6.0

8.0

10.0

12.0

5.0 0.0 0.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 x (mm) 8.0 10.0 12.0

(a)

(b)

Figure 5-3 – Stresses on the midline of the adhesive layer in the 2D single lap for ξ =0.2: (a) distribution of peel stresses; (b) distribution of shear stresses

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The second set of results is displayed in Figure 5-4a, for the evolution with the load of the peak peel stress, max, and in Figure 5-4b, for the evolution with the load of the peak shear stress, max. The reported peak values indicate the maximum value reached by that particular variable anywhere along the midline of the adhesive layer. The reported peel and shear stresses were read in the nodes lying on the midline but represent the extrapolation, automatically provided by ABAQUS, of the accurate stress values calculated in the Gauss points. stress - S12 Shear

Peel stress - S22 180 160 140 120

(MPa)

180 160 140 120

and & Reissner hod A hod B hod C

100 80 60 40 20 0 0 100 200 P (N) 300 400 500

100 80 60 40 20 0 0 100 200 P (N) 300 400 500

S12 - Go S12 - Me S12 - Me S12 - Me

max

(a)

max

(MPa)

(b)

Figure 5-4 – Peak values of peel stresses (a) and shear stresses (b) on the midline of the adhesive layer in the 2D single lap as a function of the applied load The preliminary analysis shows that in terms of longitudinal displacement (Figure 5-3a) the TM method provides overall results in close agreement with FM. The predictions of SC method, on the contrary, are progressively lower than expected as the right edge of the overlap is approached (x=12) and do not capture the peak displacements arising at both edges of the distribution. A possible explanation of this disagreement can be traced to the formula used to correct the elastic modulus of the expanded layer in SC method. Although the corrected modulus of the adhesive reproduces correctly the peel and the shear stiffness of the original adhesive layer, it fails to reproduce its flexural rigidity. As a matter of fact, the extended layer with increased thickness and increased modulus is stiffer in bending than the original layer with lower thickness and lower modulus. The calculated values of transverse displacements (Figure 5-3b) are nearly coincident throughout the bondline for all numerical methods. That can be explained by observing that the transverse component of the displacement is mainly affected by the deformation of the adherends, which is adequately described in all three models.

Andrea Spaggiari 43

A generally good correspondence between the three finite element models and Goland and Reissner’s solution is also found in Figure 5-4 for peel and shear stress distributions under a given load. However, by a zoomed examination of the peak stresses at the edges of the bondline it is perceivable how method B provides lower stresses than the other methods, in particular as concerns the shear stress. The disagreement can be seen clearly in the diagrams of Figure 5-4a-b, where the peak values of peel and shear stresses are plotted against the applied load. Those diagrams highlight that the maximum stresses supplied by the TM method, are located exactly between the stress predictions of Goland and Reissner’s analytical model and those of the FM. By contrast, the peak stresses values provided by SC method are systematically lower than the values of the other models. The maximum difference between peak values from SC and TM method is about 20%, for both peel and shear stresses. Finally, it is observed that the analysis performed on the FM considering a plane-strain condition, produced the same stress values as in the plane-stress state, all over the bondline. From this preliminary comparison, the TM method appears more promising than the SC method in terms of both displacements and stresses. Nevertheless a systematic analysis is more appropriate in order to decide what is the best method among the SC and the TM. The benchmark will be only the FM because is practically equal to the analytical prediction of Goland and Reissner.

5.2 Systematic analyses of a 2D single lap joints

**5.2.1 Design of numerical campaign
**

The systematic analyses are aimed at comparing the results of FM (benchmark), SC method and TM method for a wider range of geometries and elastic properties of the joint. The purpose of the preliminary analysis is extended to a broad set of configurations, planned according to the criteria of designed experiments [40]. The variables involved in the analyses are collected in Table 5-2. The GFRP is laminated 25% 0°, 50% ±45° and 25% 90°The choice of type and values of these variables was guided by the analytical model for the single lap joint developed by Goland and Reissner [4].

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Table 5-2 – Values of the joint parameters used in the systematic analysis

t (mm)

c t

0.3 1.5

1 3 69000 0.3 Aluminium

3 6 206000 0.3 Steel

E (MPa) 23000

ν

Material 0.3 GFRP

A full factorial analysis plan, consisting of 27 geometric configurations, is obtained by combining, in all possible ways, the variables of Table 5-2. Referring to Goland and Reissner’s work [4], the peak shear stress, and the peak peel stress, arising in the adhesive layer can be expressed by the equations (24) and (25). The examination of equation (23), (24), (25) and (26) shows that for a given dimensionless load, applied to the joint, the dimensionless peak stresses,

η max ζ and max only depends on the dimensionless variables p p

ν , νa ,

Ea t c , , E sa t

Since Poisson’s ratios of the adherends, ν , and of the adhesive, ν a , are almost the same ( ν =0.3) for most materials, the above list reduces to the following dimensionless ratios:

Ea t c , , E sa t

which describe all the possible configurations of the joints in terms of geometry and material. Once the elastic modulus, Ea , and the thickness of the adhesive, s a , have been chosen, the peak stresses depend only on the Young’s modulus of the adherends, E , on the thickness of the adherends, t , on the ratio

c between the half length of the overlap and the adherend thickness t

and on the stress p applied to the adherends.

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45

Following the above indications of the dimensional analysis, the properties of the adhesive layer maintain, without loss of generality, the values of the preliminary analysis through all the systematic screening (thickness s a = 0.1 mm, Young’s modulus Ea = 2500 MPa, Poisson’s ratio

**ν a = 0.3). In addition, the ratio between the length of the non-overlapping portion of the
**

adherends, l, and the adherends thickness, t, is held constant at

l =25. Each parameter in Table t

5-2 varies over three levels and covers a range sufficiently wide to embrace most real situations. The only exception to this rule is represented by the ratio

c which was limited up to 6 due to the t c t 10 ) that can

impossibility to manage the numerical models arising from the longest overlaps ( occur in practice. By choosing in Table 5-2 the specific combination of variables t = 1 mm,

c t

6 , E = 69.000 MPa,

the same configuration examined in the preliminary analysis is obtained. In addition to those systematic analyses, several runs have also been performed assuming the same elastic modulus for the adherends and for the adhesive (E = 2500 MPa), to simulate joining between polymeric adherends. The FM, the SC and TM method have been implemented with the same criteria described in the previous section. For each configuration, three load levels were applied in subsequent increments to the joint. The load levels were calculated with Goland and Reissner’s equations, to generate peak values of the peel stress in the ratio of 0.001, 0.01 and 0.1 to Young’s modulus, Ea , of the adhesive. This interval of expected stresses in the adhesive was chosen so as to cover a wide range of output stresses, independently of the strength of real structural adhesives, and to test the effect of severe nonlinearity on the accuracy of the proposed methods.

**5.2.2 Systematic analysis results and discussion
**

The results shown in this subsection are reported in terms of stresses but the diagrams for the horizontal and vertical displacement lead to identical charts.

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From the diagrams of Figure 5-5 it is observed that the relative error of SC method B, on the peak values of both peel and shear stresses, is remarkable, especially for joint geometries from 4 to 9 in combination with glass fiber reinforced plastic adherends. Moreover, the error implies a systematic underestimation of the true peak stresses. The poor performance of SC method is perhaps due to the mismatch of the flexural stiffness with respect to the real joint. In the attempt to improve the accuracy of method B, other formulas have been considered, giving both lower and higher values of the corrected modulus, but the results were never better than those presented here. This inadequate performance makes the SC method an unreliable tool for the stress analysis of adhesive bonded joints, unless a mere order-of-magnitude estimate of stresses is desired. Examination of the relative errors reported in Figure 5-6 for TM method testifies a generally good performance of this method for the entire range of joint geometries and stress levels investigated. The scatter of results over the load level for peak peel stresses (Figure 5-6a) is higher for joint configurations having adherends’ thickness t = 0.3 (joints 1, 2 and 3). This might be due to the fact that the thinner joints are subject to a degree of non-linearity higher than the thicker joints. More consistent and encouraging appear the peak values of shear stresses results. The diagram of b shows that the relative error is quite small for all the joint geometries considered. As for peel stresses, the best results are obtained for the higher values of elastic modulus (69000 MPa and 206000 MPa). The maximum mean value of the relative error is about 15% (joint 9) and the scatter of results over the load level is very low. The bar charts of Figure 5-7 show that the relative error of both reduced methods is substantially unaffected by the load applied to the joint. This is especially true for TM method which, besides being more accurate than SC method (see above), also proves more robust with respect to the non-linearity associated with the load.

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(a)

(b) Figure 5-5 – Relative errors of peel stresses (a) and shear stresses (b) between SC method and FM for the entire set of 2D single lap joints

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As a last comment, it is noted that in the runs simulating adherends with the same elastic modulus (E = 2500 MPa) as the adhesive, TM method provides accurate results for both stresses and displacements. For the joint geometry of the preliminary analysis, subjected to the intermediate load level, the peak peel and shear stresses provided by TM method are respectively equal to 25.16 MPa and 37.25 MPa. The corresponding values of peak stresses provided by FM are 25.99 MPa for the peel stress and 23.50 MPa for the shear stress.

(a)

(b) Figure 5-6 – Relative errors of peel stresses (a) and shear stresses (b) between TM method and FM for the entire set of 2D single lap joints

Andrea Spaggiari 49

(a) (b) Figure 5-7 – Relative errors of peel stresses (a) and shear stresses (b) between SC or TM and FM as a function of the expected dimensionless stress

On the basis of the results obtained in the preliminary analysis and their confirmation obtained in the systematic analysis it is clear that the SC method provides poorer results than TM method, henceforth only the tied mesh method will be considered as an efficient FE tool for the analysis of bonded joints. Accuracy and straightforward implementation, combined with the reduction of more than 20 times of degree of freedom of the model, make this method very attractive for the efficient mechanical analysis of large, thin-walled bonded constructions. The following chapter will investigate the applicability of the TM method on different 2D configuration, on 3D structure both in the elastic and post-elastic field.

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**6. Validation of the tied mesh method in the elastic range
**

The proposed Tied Mesh (TM) method is applied in this section to different geometries representative of typical applications of bonded joints. Its application is only in the elastic field in order to assess the applicability of the method and not of a failure criterion. At first a more complex bidimensional configuration will be tested, the wavy lap joint, second a tridimensional square bracket is used to prove the TM method applicability and at last a tubular bonded joint is tested.

**6.1 Wavy single lap 2D joint
**

Since this is a validation of the method the standard design of experiment plan it is not necessary here and a single configuration of the wavy lap joint is considered. The wavy-lap joint design was first introduced by Zeng and Sun [32]. According to them, this new design not only avoids the load eccentricity common to single lap joints but also allows the development of compressive stress at the end of the overlap section. In fact, during loading, there is an inversion of the peel stress at the end of the overlap region of the single-lap joint, which can lead to an enhanced loading capacity. The wavy-lap used for this study is in essence the one proposed by Zeng and Sun [32] and modified by Avila e Bueno [34]. The fillet radius is equal to 10mm and the joint is 25mm wide. In addition, the undulation angle in the present model is equal to 12° and the adhesive has an average thickness of 0.2mm. Zeng and Sun [32], consider three straight segments with a ratio 1:2:1, as shown in Figure 6-1a. The adherent used for the joints is AISI 304 mild steel (E=210000 MPa, ν=0.3). The bicomponent epoxy resin Hysol 9466 is from Henkel Loctite [33], (E=1718 MPa, ν=0.3). The wavy single-lap joint undergoes a symmetric prescribed displacement in the axial direction. The geometric non linearity is taken into account in the model even if there is no misalignment between the two bonded parts. The loading scheme is schematically shown in Figure 6-1b.

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51

(a)

(b) Figure 6-1 – Dimensions of the 2D single lap wavy joint used for benchmark (a) scheme of the FE model (b)

6.1.1 Full FE method

The implementation of the FM is carried on with commercial FE code ABAQUS 6.8. The model exactly reproduces the geometry of the joint of Figure 6-1 and incorporates the material properties given in section 6.1. The mesh is based on quadratic, plane-stress, nearly square elements with a length of 0.04 mm, evenly distributed throughout the model. As a result, five elements are stacked through the thickness of the adhesive layer. Plane stress rather than plain strain elements have been adopted because this condition is implied by the beam elements used to describe the adherends in reduced models TM, as described in the previous chapter. The element dimensions adopted in the analysis have been chosen after a mesh convergence procedure focused on the peak stresses arising on the midline of the adhesive. The converged mesh, showing no improvement of results upon further grid refinement, contains 88975 elements and 91260 nodes for a total of 88975 degrees of freedom.

**6.1.2 Tied mesh method
**

The verification analysis is carried on the same wavy lap joint geometry by using beams for the adherends and by conserving the real thickness of the adhesive layer. This choice creates a gap between the adherends, modelled with quadratic beam elements, and the corresponding edges

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of the adhesive layer, which are discretized by a single row of quadratic, plane-stress, quadrilateral elements. The connectivity between adhesive and adherend meshes is enforced by means of the internal constraints linking the corresponding nodes of the parts. These constraints are realized through the tied mesh option of ABAQUS. The element length (for both adherends and adhesive) is equal to the eccentricity between the adherends (3mm). The converged model contains 79 elements and 196 nodes for a total of 530 degrees of freedom, about 40 times less than the full model.

**6.1.3 Wavy single lap joint results and discussion
**

The performance of TM method in terms of stress prediction is very good with regard to the distributions of peel stresses (Figure 6-2a) and resultant shear stresses ((Figure 6-2b). The stress distribution is picked on the midline of the adhesive layer when the joint has completed the prescribed displacement of 1mm. As for the systematic analyses, the more complex trend of the stress distributions is well captured by the TM model, with main deviations from the FM arising along the edges of the adhesive layer.

40 20

**160 150 140
**

0 5 10 15 20 25

Shear stress (MPa)

0

Peel stress (MPa)

130 120 110 100 90 80

-20

-40

-60 -80 Full Model -100 Tied Mesh Method

70 60 0

Overlap lenght (mm)

Full Model 5

Tied Mesh Method 25

10 15 20 Overlap lenght (mm)

(a)

(b)

Figure 6-2 – Peel (a) and shear (b) stresses along the midplane of the adhesive layer for the FM (light gray line) and TM method (black line).

The errors in the comparison between the FM and the TM are showed both for interfacial peel stresses (Figure 6-3a) and interfacial shear stress (Figure 6-3b).

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(a)

(b)

Figure 6-3 – Peel stress (a) and shear stress (b) errors between TM and FM (used as benchmark). It’s worth of notice that the error is always between 10% but in most cases is under 3%, especially for the shear stresses which are more regular. In order to have a quantitative comparison a detail of the main values of the two charts is reported in Table 6-1 Table 6-1 Numerical comparison between FM and TM for the wavy lap joint Peel stress Maximum absolute error Mean error Standard deviation SPEED UP INDEX = 6.70% 2.07% -3.35% Shear stress 8.01% 4.47% -16.45%

CPUtimeFM CPUtimeTM

2133 s 3.3s

646 .3

The error between the two methods is quite low especially considering the speed up ratio of 64 obtained.

**6.2 Square bracket 3D joints
**

This is a validation step dealing with 3D analyses of bonded joints. On the basis of the previous results, showing that SC method provides poor results in comparison with TM method, this investigation is focused on the comparison between Full Model (FM), taken as benchmark and TM method.

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As validation test for simplified TM method, the 3D configuration of Figure 6-4 was considered. An aluminium bracket (E = 69000 MPa, ν = 0.3) is bonded to a steel wall (E = 210000 MPa, ν = 0.3) through an epoxy adhesive layer (sa = 0.1 mm, Ea = 2500 MPa, νa = 0.3) and undergoes an asymmetric cantilever load (P = 100 N). The wall is built-in along its boundary. A single load level was applied to the structure because geometric non linearity is not significant for this joint configuration. The quality of the simplified analysis is assessed by comparing the results of TM method with the output of a conventional finite element model (FM).

Figure 6-4 – Geometry of the 3D square bracket configuration tested

6.2.1 Full FE method

Due to the remarkable amount of computational resources needed to run FM, discretization of the adherends (square bracket and wall) have been performed with quadratic bricks having side lengths of 0.15 mm in the plane of the adherends and a length through the thickness uniformly varying from 0.03 mm (near to the adhesive) to about 0.45 mm (on the opposite face). The FE model implemented with ABAQUS software has 178984 elements and 207720 nodes for a total of 623160 degrees of freedom. The FM meshed model is reported in Figure 6-5a which shows the very refined and computationally expensive mesh.

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**6.2.2 Tied mesh method
**

In TM method, the bracket and the wall plate were modelled with quadratic shell elements placed on the mid surfaces of the parts and tied to a single layer of quadratic bricks describing the adhesive. As for the reduced 2D model, also in this 3D reduced model the dimension of all elements in the plane of the parts was made equal to the distance between the midsurfaces of the adherends. The TM method contains 118 elements and 589 nodes for a total of 2850 degrees of freedom, about 220 times less than the full model. The TM meshed model is reported in Figure 6-5b which shows the use of shells and the quite coarse mesh.

(a)

(b)

Figure 6-5 – Full model (a) and tied mesh model (b) of the 3D square bracket

**6.2.3 3D square bracket results and discussion
**

The performance of TM method in terms of stress prediction is very good with regard to the distributions of peel stresses (Figure 6-7a) and resultant shear stresses (Figure 6-7b). The capital letters A-B-C-D indicate the corners of the bonded area referring to Figure 6-4. As for the 2D analyses, the general three-dimensional trend of the stress distributions is well captured by the reduced model, with main deviations from the full model arising along the contour of the adhesive layer. The out of plane displacement, normal to the adhesive plane, is reported in Figure 6-6. The prediction by TM method is found in excellent agreement with FM method all over the bonded area.

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In terms of computational efficiency the results is outstanding because the TM method runs 2500 times faster than the FM.

(a)

(b)

Figure 6-6 –Displacements normal to the adhesive layer due to the peel stresses (a), displacements parallel to the adhesive layer due to the shear stresses (fine grid = FM, coarse grid = TM)

(a) (b) Figure 6-7 – Fields of peel stresses (a) and of resultant shear stresses (b) in the midplane of the adhesive layer for the bracket of Figure 6-4 (fine grid = FM, coarse grid = TM)

**6.3 Tubular single lap joint
**

The application of the Tied Mesh (TM) method to another kind of geometry is presented in this section. The tubular lap joint is quite common in practice since adhesive bonding of pipes is a quick method of connection which grants in most cases also the sealing of the components.

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The structure considered is a connection between two tubes of different diameters and materials analyzed using the axial-symmetric property of this section. This is possible only because the loading is axial and so the comparison with the Full Model (FM) can be afforded by the calculator. The scheme of the considered joint is reported in Figure 6-8 .

Figure 6-8 –Schematic of Tubular joint. Dimensions in mm, not to scale

The properties of the adherends and the adhesive considered for the finite element analysis are reported in Table 6-2. Table 6-2 – Elastic properties of adherends and adhesive used in the tubular joint Material Inner Adherend Aluminium Young’s Modulus (MPa) 70000 126000 (Orthotropic) 1300 ν 0.3 0.26 0.4

Outer Adherend Carbon Fiber Adhesive Epoxy resin

6.3.1 Full FE method

The application of the FM to the tubular joints is carried on exploiting the axial-symmetry of the specimen and thus obtaining a 2D model. The model loading and constraints are reported in Figure 6-9a, the mesh is quite refined, with the element in the adhesive with 0.025mm of side

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length, quadratic with full integration. The analysis is carried on only in the elastic field (see Table 6-2) which allows the stress field in the adhesive to be compared.

**6.3.2 Tied mesh method
**

The TM method is applied to the configuration reported in Figure 6-8 and the resultant model is reported in Figure 6-9b. The adherends are represented with beam elements which lie on the midplane of both the aluminium and the composite parts and the different thickness of the adherends is taken into account. The element length is calculated with the procedure described in the systematic campaign on SLJ and so it is equal to e = 1 + 0.05 + 0.4 = 1.45 (mm). The TM method allow the complete 3D geometry to be resolved but, in order to have a more straightforward comparison, I decided to keep the model 2D and so the element formulation is an axial-symmetric shell, with quadratic and full integration options.

F = 100N

F = 100N

(a)

(b)

Figure 6-9 –Loading and constraints of the full model (a) and of the tied mesh model (b)

**6.3.3 Tubular joint results and discussion
**

The analysis is performed in the elastic field with the FE software ABAQUS. The comparison between FM and TM method is performed in term of the stress field into the adhesive layer. Due to loading and Poisson’s effect both shear stress and peel stresses are to be considered and the comparison is reported in Figure 6-10.

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(a)

(b)

Figure 6-10 –Peel stress (a) and shear stress (b) calculated in the adhesive midplane. The gray triangles are the nodes of the TM method the black dots represents the FM nodes.

The first consideration is the density of the dots of the two methods: the black dots are so refined and is difficult to distinguish them, while the gray triangles are very few but their distribution is the same. Every dot represents a node of the FE model and the charts of Figure 6-10 give a first qualitative example of the different computational heaviness of the two methods. The error provided by the TM method with respect to the FM taken as benchmark is minimum and is under 10% for the peel stresses (Figure 6-10a) and under the 3% for the shear stresses (Figure 6-10b).

Table 6-3 – Comparison between FM and TM numerical analysis Nodes Full Model Tied Mesh Method Coefficient of reduction 104897 1205 87.05 Degrees of freedom 28783 3431 83.91 Cpu Time (s) 149 0.3 496.66

The comparison of the two methods in terms of time of analysis is presented in Table 6-3. The coefficient of reduction, which is simply the ratio between FM and TM variables considered, testifies the dramatic reduction of time needed for performing the analysis. The conclusion is that having a 500 times faster analysis is a good compensation for an error under 10% in stress.

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**7. Validation of the tied mesh method in the post elastic range
**

7.1 T-peel joint 2D

The T-peel joint is one of the ASTM standard joint widely used in order to analyze the behaviour of the adhesive in the post-elastic field, because of its gradual failure. In order to perform a post-elastic analysis a failure criterion is needed. For the post-elastic analysis of bonded joints many authors initially applied local or global yielding as a failure criterion [35]. In the recent literature, instead, other proposed techniques are based on von Mises strain [36] of stress singularity models [37]. Moreover, a fracture mechanics approach has been commonly used for failure criterion and special interface elements have sometimes been developed [38]. The available methods present two main drawbacks. On the one hand, special elements are difficult to implement in general-purpose FE packages available in industrial context and their use is confined to research applications. On the other hand, full FE models cannot be applied especially to large 3D problems due to the remarkable increase of degrees of freedom. The objective of this subsection is to check, against full-FE element models, the accuracy and the efficiency of the reduced model in providing the load-displacement curve of T-peel joints loaded well beyond the elastic threshold. A failure criterion based on von Mises stresses, as suggested by Crocombe in [35], was assumed for the adhesive in both full and reduced FE models due to its inherent simplicity. The reduced model could also be implemented with a different failure criterion, provided that the elements which model the adhesive support it. The comparison between the two analysis methods was performed through a full factorial test campaign [40].

**7.1.1 Design of the test campaign
**

This campaign was completely developed as a numerical one. Figure 7-1 displays schematically the different models used in the section for the analysis of bonded joints. Figure 7-1a depicts the reference configuration of a 2D peel joint, having a width of 25 mm. This joint was chosen because of its characteristic of a gradual failure which allows us to easily monitor its post-elastic behaviour. Figure 7-1b describes the FM approach used as a reference solution. Figure 7-1c illustrates the TM model under test in this chapter.

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The assessment of the reduced model was performed by means of a systematic numerical campaign. This section describes the design of the test campaign, provides information on the full finite element model adopted as benchmark and illustrates the criterion to implement the proposed reduced model. The variables involved in the analyses are presented in Table 7-1. As concerns the elastic properties of adherends and adhesive, the choice was guided by the analytical models developed by Crocombe and Bigwood [30] and Goland and Reissner [4]. Both models show that the elastic stresses in adhesive joints depend on the following dimensionless groups:

Ga , E

Ea , E

sa , ν t

where Ea, Ga and sa are Young’s modulus, shear modulus and thickness of the adhesive. Likewise, E, and t and are Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio and thickness of the adherends. As discussed

in [31], for a given adhesive layer and adhesive elastic properties, the elastic stresses in the adhesive, depend only on the adherends mechanical properties and geometries. Hence, invariable elastic properties were chosen for the adhesive (Table 7-1). These properties correspond to those measured by Goglio et al. [22] for the two-component acrylic adhesive (Henkel Loctite Multibond 330 [42]). The response in the elastic range is associated with the adherend geometry (thickness and skew angle) and material. As described in the diagram of Figure 7-2 , for the stress-strain response of the adhesive two bilinear behaviours were assumed: a brittle one (curve ABC) and a perfectly plastic one (curve ABD). This choice was aimed at assessing the performance of the reduced model over a wide range of adhesive characteristics, including the perfectly plastic behaviour which is an extreme assumption for real adhesives. For both brittle and perfectly plastic adhesive behaviours, the same elastic limit of 106 MPa was assumed. This stress value, derived from the load-displacement experimental curves presented in [22] represents the elastic peak stress, in the mid-surface of the adhesive, calculated under the maximum experimental load, using a full finite element model.

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(a)

(b)

(c)

Figure 7-1 –Schematic of T-peel joint geometry, dimensions in mm (a), detail of the FM elements (b) and detail of the TM model (c)

Two materials were chosen for the adherends. A steel with a Young’s modulus of 210000 MPa, a Poisson’s ratio of 0.3 and a yield stress of 500 MPa and an aluminium with a Young’s modulus of 69000 MPa, a Poisson’s ratio of 0.3 and a yield stress of 300 MPa. The post-elastic constitutive behaviour both of the steel and of the aluminium was described as a linear one (Figure 7-3) with a slope equal to one tenth of the corresponding Young’s modulus. In accordance with the full factorial plan approach two levels were considered for each of the dimensions defining the adherends (thickness t and skew angle , Figure 7-1) as described in Table 7-1. The curvature radius R of the midsurface of the adherends (which is the same for both) was determined as two times the adherends thickness, thus giving the values R = 4 and 6 mm for 2 and 3 mm thick adherends, respectively. The distance b between the left edge of the bondline and the axis of the applied load was set to 12 mm (Figure 7-1a).

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Figure 7-2 –Brittle (ABC) and perfectly plastic (ABD) stress-strain curves adopted for the adhesive

Figure 7-3 –Stress–strain curves adopted for aluminium and steel adherends.

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Systematic combination of the four variables of Table 7-1 (adherend thickness, skew angle, adhesive behaviour and adherend material) produced a full factorial plan comprising a total of 16 joint configurations. Both the FM and the TM models were applied to all these configurations with the FM used as reference solutions. The models were loaded by applying to the top end of the upper adherend a displacement of 10 mm. The comparison between the two models was made in terms of load-displacement curves and Central Processing Unit (CPU) time needed for the run. In particular, from the load-displacement curves, the stiffness, the yield load and the total deformation energy were calculated. All FE models were implemented with Simulia ABAQUS software, version 6.7. In all models (FM and TM), the failure criterion for the adhesive elements was implemented through the *PLASTIC option which involves the application of the stress – strain models of Figure 7-2 through von Mises stresses criterion. This procedure is in accordance with the approach proposed by Crocombe in [19] and by Crocombe et al. in [35] who suggest to model the yield of the adhesive using either a simple or a modified von Mises criterion. Even if other more accurate models are applicable (like the Drucker-Prager model which takes into account the hydrostatic stresses), the von Mises model was chosen due to its inherent simplicity and availability on commercial finite element software. Also the elastoplastic behaviour of the adherends described in Figure 7-3 was implemented, in the FE code, by means of the same *PLASTIC option adopted to describe the behaviour of the adhesive in the post-elastic range. Table 7-1 – Values of the joint parameters used in the systematic analysis

Variable 1 2 3 4 Name Skew angle, Adherends thickness, t Adherends material Adhesive behaviour Low level 45° 2 mm Aluminium Brittle High level 90° 3 mm Steel Plastic

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7.1.2 Full FE method

The full finite element model (FM) exactly reproduces the geometry of the joint described in Figure 7-1a and uses the material properties reported in Table 7-1. The meshes of both adherends and adhesive are based on linear, plane-stress, quadrilateral elements. The adherends were discretized by full integration, square elements with a side length of 0.5 mm, for a total of 4 and 6 elements through the thickness for 2 mm and 3 mm thick adherends respectively. A preliminary investigation performed by the author [42] has shown that these dimensions of the adherend elements represent the best trade-off between accuracy of the results and computational efficiency. The adhesive was discretized by reduced integration, square elements with a side length of 0.033 mm, for a total of 3 elements through the thickness sa. The dimension of the adhesive elements was chosen after a mesh convergence procedure specifically performed. Plane stress rather than plain strain elements were adopted because this condition is implied by the beam elements used to describe the adherends in the reduced model. The effect of the plane-stress assumption on the stress results was extensively discussed in [31] where it was demonstrated that the stress distribution in the joint is independent of plane stress or plain strain condition, in the case of linear elastic behaviour. Reduced integration rather than full integration elements were applied to the adhesive because they describe more accurately the post-elastic behaviour of the adhesive adopted here, thus improving the convergence speed of the full FE model. In order to improve the stability of the full FE models, most of the adhesive elements were assumed to be elastic. The brittle and the perfectly plastic models of Figure 7-2 were applied only to the elements lying across the mid-surface of the adhesive layer. This strategy was used because the model was not developed for the determination of peak stresses which occur at the bi-material corners between adhesive and adherends and which would require a quite finer discretization. The elastic limit stress of the adhesive (point B in Figure 7-2) was calculated on the midplane of the adhesive; hence it is necessary to compare it with the stress calculated in the same region. Furthermore, it allows the numerical instability that such peak stresses produce in the solution of the full FE model to be overcome, thus avoiding convergence problems.

**7.1.3 Tied mesh method
**

The reduced tied mesh (TM) method reproduces the reference joint geometry using rows of quadratic beam elements for the adherends and a single strip of quadratic, plane-stress, quadrilateral elements with full integration for the adhesive (Figure 7-1a).

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The choice of structural elements for the adherends creates a gap between their inner faces and the corresponding edges of the adhesive layer. In the proposed method, this gap was closed virtually by means of internal constraints which link the corresponding nodes of the parts by equalling the shared active degrees of freedom. These internal constraints, which are a common feature of all FE packages, were implemented here through the *tied mesh option of ABAQUS. In a previous investigation of this method in the elastic range [31], the optimum mesh size was found when the element length along both the adherends and the adhesive layer was equal to the distance e of Figure 7-1a between the midplane of the adherends. In the present thesis, the optimum element length was found through a mesh convergence procedure, performed on a reference joint for both adhesive models of Figure 7-2. The procedure started from the value of e proposed in [31], and the element length was incrementally reduced until stabilization of the results. An optimum element length equal to e/4 was found and adopted in all models.

**7.1.4 2D T-peel joint results and discussion
**

Figure 7-4 presents the load-displacement curves obtained from the convergence procedure performed on the reduced model. The model describes a 90° T-peel joint between steel adherends with a thickness of 2 mm, bonded by an elastic-brittle adhesive. Four different element lengths are compared: e, e/2, e/4 and e/8. When the adhesive was modelled with the perfectly-plastic behaviour, it was observed that the element length did not affect the convergence of results. Figure 7-5 and Figure 7-6 compare the load-displacement curves obtained with the FM and the TM method for all the joint configurations of the test campaign. Figure 7-5 refers to an elasticbrittle adhesive behaviour while Figure 7-6 refers to an elastic-perfectly plastic response. Each diagram of Figure 7-5 and Figure corresponds to a single joint configuration and reports the curves provided by the full and the reduced FE models up to the maximum applied displacement of 10 mm.

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A quantitative comparison between the results of full and reduced models is presented in terms of elastic stiffness (Table 7-2), yield load (Table 7-3) and total deformation energy at the same joint displacement (Table 7-4). The elastic stiffness was calculated, for each joint configuration, by interpolating the curves (Figure 7-5 and Figure 7-6) between the origin and a displacement value corresponding to half the yield load for that specific joint. The yield load for the brittle adhesive was identified as the peak load reached by the joint at the end of the elastic slope, just before the abrupt decrease of the curve (Figure 7-5) at the beginning of the post-elastic deformation. For the perfectly plastic adhesive, the yield load was defined, similarly to what is done in material testing, as the value where the load-displacement curve (Figure 7-6) deviates from linearity by 0.2% (= 0.3 mm) of the free length of the joint (= 150 mm). The deformation energy was calculated by integrating numerically the area under the loaddisplacement curve up to the maximum displacement of the full model. The relative error (εR) of Tables between the full and the reduced FE models was calculated for each result R (stiffness, yield load or energy) with the following relationship

εR % 100 Rreduced FE model Rfull FE model Rfull FE model

Figure 7-4 Load-displacement curves resulting from the convergence procedure on TM T-peel models ( = 90°, t = 2 mm, steel adherends, brittle adhesive)

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Figure 7-5 –Load-displacement curves predicted by FM and TM for all joints with a brittle adhesive

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Figure 7-6 – Load-displacement curves predicted by FM and TM for all joints with a plastic adhesive Table 7-5 presents the CPU times needed for the analyses of both full and reduced FE models, evaluated at the same displacement of the joint. For each joint, the speed-up index is also provided, which is defined as the ratio between the CPU times needed by the full FE model and the time consumed by the reduced model. Figure 7-7 shows the half-normal probability plots developed through an analysis of variance performed with the commercial package Design Expert 7.0 [38]. The analysis was performed on the three main responses of the load-displacement diagrams: Figure 7-7a - elastic stiffness Figure 7-7b - yield load Figure 7-7c - deformation energy Figure 7-7d - CPU time In the charts of Figure 7-7, the x-axis represents the standardized effect associated with each factor considered in the test campaign (Table 7-1) and to the method used for the analysis (FM or TM), which was

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entered as an additional factor. The greater the standardized effect, the higher the influence of the variable on the response. The y-axis represents the half-normal probability associated with each effect. A line interpolates the points representing the error of the test (given by the interactions between the variables). The points that fall off the error line represent the factors that mainly affect each response. As regards the convergence procedure of the reduced model, Figure 7-4 shows that, starting from the value e, shortening the elements produces a remarkable change in the predicted load-displacement curves until a length of e/4 is reached. However, further refining the element length does not affect the results along the entire curve. In particular, the values of elastic stiffness, yield load and deformation energy remain unchanged. This result suggested an optimum element length of e/4, which was used in all the analyses as the right balance between accuracy of results and computational time.

Examination of Figure 7-5 and Figure 7-6 provides a first qualitative estimate of the accuracy of the reduced models with respect to the full models in terms of overall load-displacement relationships. It can be seen that, especially for the brittle adhesive (Figure 7-5), several curves for the full models do not reach the prescribed displacement (10 mm) applied to the joint. This is because these analyses stopped prematurely due to convergence problems. By contrast, all the analyses of the reduced models completed successfully, although in some cases there were numerical oscillations in the curves for the brittle adhesive (e.g. Figure 7-5c,d,h). Such oscillations are imputable to the severe discontinuity in the stress-strain relationship (point B in Figure 2) of the brittle adhesive when it goes beyond the elastic limit and to the greater mesh size of the reduced model. The oscillations are greater in the reduced model because the adhesive elements are longer than in the full model, thus causing a high energy release when they pass the elastic limit. The capability of the reduced model to overcome the high nonlinearities of the adhesive joint behaviour is seen as a distinguished merit of the proposed model. Figure 7-5 shows linear elastic response until the adhesive reaches the elastic limit. Then a sudden decrease of the load occurs when the adhesive goes beyond the elastic limit, while the adherends still remain elastic. Hence the progressive failure of the adhesive determines the increase of the arm of the applied load. As a consequence also the adherends go plastic. Figure 7-6 shows a similar behaviour in the elastic range while, after the adhesive yielding, the load still increases due to the perfectly plastic behaviour of the adhesive itself and to the plastic yielding of the adherends. The load response for the perfectly plastic behaviour of the adhesive (Figure 7-6) is higher than that obtained for the brittle behaviour one (Figure 7-5) throughout the test. This is imputable to the fact that the perfectly plastic adhesive still supports load after yielding, thus requiring a greater effort in opening the joint with respect to a brittle layer that virtually disappears when strained beyond the elastic range. The difference between the reduced and the full models in Figure 7-6 is mainly due to the adherends

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plasticization. The beam elements describing the adherends in the reduced model, describe the post-elastic flexural behaviour not as accurately as the plane-stress elements adopted in the FM. A more quantitative comparison between full and reduced models is presented in a tabular form, in terms of predictions of elastic stiffness, yield load and deformation energy. Table 7-2 shows that the prediction of elastic stiffness is quite similar between the two models both in the case of brittle adhesive, where a maximum relative error of 7% occurs, and also for the perfectly plastic adhesive, where the maximum relative error is about 4%. Table 7-3 indicates that the yield load prediction with the reduced model is in good agreement with that of the full model. The maximum relative error for the brittle adhesive is lower than 15%, while, for the perfectly plastic adhesive, the maximum relative error is lower than 11%. Table 7-4 shows a less accurate prediction of the deformation energy provided by the reduced model, with a maximum relative error of about 36% both for the brittle and the plastic adhesive behaviours. Table 7-2 – Values of elastic stiffness (N/mm) predicted by the FM and TM method Elastic stiffness (N/mm) Aluminium Adhesive Skew angle behaviour (deg) 45° Brittle 90° Adherends Full Reduced model 646 1792 759 2006 636 1780 736 2036 Relative Full Steel Reduced model 1711 5349 1949 5310 1742 4809 2003 5225 Relative error (%) -4.1 5.8 -6.1 -7.0 -1.8 -4.2 0.3 -1.8

thickness (mm) model 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 659 1859 782 2068 613 1847 755 2067

error (%) model -2.0 -3.6 -2.9 -3.0 3.7 -3.6 -2.5 -1.5 1784 5054 2077 5712 1774 5021 1997 5322

45° Plastic 90°

The comparison between the models in terms of computational effort (Table 7-5) underlines the significant reduction of computational time from the full to the reduced models. The speed-up index shows that the time consumed by the reduced models decreases by a factor ranging from about 15 to 430 for the brittle adhesive and by a factor ranging from about 3 to 45 for the plastic adhesive. The speed-up index is lower for the perfectly plastic adhesive due to the different degree of stress discontinuity affecting the two adhesives at the onset of failure (point B of Figure 7-2). The discontinuity in the slope of the stress-strain curves is more severe for the brittle adhesive (curve ABC of Figure 7-2) than for the perfectly plastic one (curve ABD of Figure 7-2). This difference improves the stability of the numerical solution, with a general reduction of the

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computational time for both models, when the adhesive is elastic-plastic. The greater efficiency of the reduced models in terms of CPU time can be partly attributed to the dramatic reduction of degrees of freedom which was about 5 times less than in the full model.

Table 7-3 –Values of yield load (N) predicted by the FM and TM method Yield Load (N) Aluminium Adhesive Skew angle behaviour (deg) 45° Brittle 90° Adherends Full Reduced Relative model 386 772 421 676 1042 1907 965 1860 error (%) -3.3 14.7 12.5 7.6 6.2 7.6 5.5 8.8 Full model 653 1108 609 1058 1493 2930 1436 2661 Steel Reduced model 618 1135 647 1120 1547 3139 1576 2950 Relative error (%) -5.3 2.4 6.2 5.8 3.6 7.1 9.7 10.9

thickness (mm) model 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 399 673 374 628 981 1772 915 1710

45° Plastic 90°

Table 7-4 – Values of total deformation energy (J) predicted by the FM and TM method Deformation Energy (mJ) Aluminium Adhesive Skew angle behaviour (deg) Adherends thickness (mm) 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 Full model 295 1110 741 1111 11417 21506 11523 18719 Reduced Relative model 1145 1948 1073 1842 18444 32325 17353 26906 Full Steel Reduced model 1277 2485 1293 2375 20767 41757 22239 36682 Relative error (%) 11.4 27.5 20.5 28.9 12.6 29.2 28.2 36.3

error (%) model 15.6 23.9 23.8 35.1 12.7 23.4 21.6 24.9 341 1375 917 1501 12868 26547 14011 23382

45° Brittle 90°

45° Plastic 90°

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Table 7-5 – Comparison between CPU times elapsed by the FM and TM method CPU Time (s) Aluminium Steel Reduced Speed Full Reduced Speed up model up index model model index 90 31.9 5825 129 45.2 184 43.8 11983 28 433.7 371 15.2 5363 234 22.9 261 24.3 15350 198 77.5 45 395 106 13.6 3.7 40 10.5 802 102 7.9 20 23.3 347 110 3.1 13 45.6 453 46 9.8

Adhesive Skew angle behaviour (deg) 45° Brittle 90° 45° Plastic 90°

Adherends thickness (mm) 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3

Full model 2853 8070 5653 6351 614 418 470 580

Ln( Elastic stiffness) (N/mm)

Ln(Yield load) (N)

(a) Ln(Deformation energy) (mJ)

(b) Ln(CPU time) (s)

(c)

(d)

Figure 7-7 –Half normal probability plots provided by the analysis of variance performed on the elastic stiffness (a), the yield load (b), the deformation energy (c) and the CPU time (d)

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**7.2 Post elastic analysis of a 3D T-peel joint
**

The strong reduction of the computational heaviness produced by the TM method makes possible the FEM analysis of structures which can hardly be resolved by the crude application of the FM. As an example it can be analyzed the T-peel joint in 3D. Consider this joint in 3D allow me to take into account second order phenomena like the anticlastic curvature and provide a good benchmark for the performance of the method in severe condition of degrees of freedom. The geometry of the joint is reported in Figure 7-8 and it will be described extensively in the section 8.2 because is part of a wide experimental plan.

Figure 7-8 –Geometry of the T-peel joint for 3D post elastic analysis In this verification analysis we consider the parameters reported in Table 7-6: Table 7-6 - 3D T-peel joint dimensions and materials Adherend thickness Adhesive thickness Width Bending arm Adherend material Adhesive material t Sa w b 3 mm 0.1 mm 25 mm 12 mm

Mild Steel ( Figure 7-3) Hysol 9466 – High strength 2K epoxy

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**7.2.1 Failure criterion of the adhesive
**

The failure criterion adopted for the adhesive is based on the cohesive zone model [38]. This model considers both the stresses in the adhesive and the fracture energy in order to assess the resistance of the joint (see 4.2.3.3). The cohesive zone law adopted is described by Figure 7-9 and consider only the pure mode I. The energy fracture is obtained by other authors [38] with experimental test on the Hysol 9466.

Figure 7-9 –Cohesive law adopted for the 3D T-peel model The evolution law of the progressive damage is described by means of an exponential law with maximum degradation of the material properties after the failure. This is consistent with the brittle behaviour shown by the adhesive under quasi static experimental tests. Both the TM method and the FM are implemented on Abaqus 6.8 and run on a quad core i7 workstation equipped with 12Gb of RAM.

7.2.2 Full FE method

The full finite element model (FM) reproduces a quarter of the geometry of the joint described in Figure 7-8 and uses the material properties of Table 7-1. The model consider half of the width of the joint and only one adherend and half of the adhesive layer due to symmetry reason. The meshes of both adherends and adhesive are based on linear, plane-stress, quadrilateral elements. The adhesive was discretized by cohesive, square elements with a side length of 0.01 mm in the adhesive layer for a total of 2 elements through the half thickness. The adherend was discretized by full integration, square elements with an average side length of 0.5mm.

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The dimension of the adhesive elements was chosen after a mesh convergence procedure specifically performed and in both parts 3D hexahedral elements were used. Reduced integration rather than full integration elements were applied to the adhesive because they describe more accurately the post-elastic behaviour of the adhesive adopted here, thus improving the convergence speed of the full FE model. The failure criterion is the same of the brittle behaviour of curve ABC in Figure 7-2 and it is based on the Von Mises stress. The motivations besides the choice of this criterion are widely explained in the section 8.2. In order to improve the stability of the full FE models, most of the adhesive elements were assumed to be elastic. The failure criterion is applied only to the elements lying across the midsurface of the adhesive layer, which is consistent with a criterion based on structural stresses.

**7.2.3 Tied mesh method
**

The reduced tied mesh (TM) method reproduces the complete joint geometry using quadratic beam elements for the adherends and a single strip of quadratic, plane-stress, quadrilateral elements with full integration for the adhesive (Figure 7-10). The choice of structural elements for the adherends creates a gap between their inner faces and the corresponding edges of the adhesive layer. In the proposed method, this gap was closed virtually by means of internal constraints which link the corresponding nodes of the parts by equalling the shared active degrees of freedom. An optimum element length equal to e/4 was found and adopted in the TM model, as consequence of the analysis of the section 7.1.

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Figure 7-10 – TM method applied at the T-peel joint for 3D post elastic analysis

**7.2.4 3D T-peel joint results and discussion
**

Figure 7-11 presents the load-displacement curves obtained from the FE analysis on FM (black solid line) and TM method (gray dashed line) for the 3D T-peel joint up to the maximum applied displacement of 6 mm. A quantitative comparison between the results of FM and TM models is presented in terms of elastic stiffness, yield load, total deformation energy at the same joint displacement and CPU time of analysis.

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Figure 7-11 – Load-displacement curves predicted by TM (black solid line) and FM method (gray dashed line) for the 3D T-peel joint The elastic stiffness was calculated, for each joint configuration, by interpolating the curves between the origin and a displacement value corresponding to half the yield load for that specific joint. The peak load was identified as the load reached by the joint at the end of the elastic slope, just before the abrupt decrease of the curve at the beginning of the post-elastic deformation. The deformation energy was calculated by integrating numerically the area under the loaddisplacement curve up to the maximum displacement of the full model. The relative error (εR) of Tables between the FM and the TM models was calculated for each result R (stiffness, yield load or energy) with the following relationship

εR % 100 Rreduced FE model Rfull FE model Rfull FE model

The comparison in terms of degrees of freedom is not performed, while the speed up index is calculated making the ratio of the CPU time of analysis. The quantitative comparison between FM and TM for the 3D T-peel joint is clearly shown in Table 7-7. The TM method allows us to calculate and predict the behaviour of the t-peel joint efficiently and accurately. The error is under the 22% in terms of stiffness but is lower in terms of peak force and adsorbed energy. The error provide by the TM is a little price to pay in order to achieve such a strong reduction of degrees of freedom and of CPU time of analysis. The TM method, in fact, is able to manage analysis which could not be succeeded with the traditional FM on the same computer. The FM needs a powerful workstation with at least

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8Gb of memory while the TM method can be run on simple laptop thanks to its intrinsic speed. Table 7-7 - FM versus TM comparison on 3D T-peel joint Full Model Stiffness Peak load Energy Model DoF CPU Time N/mm N mJ s 5364.5 1398 3546 3180800 1543900 Tied Mesh method 6505.1 1301 3625 8325 144 Error 21.26% -6.94% 2.23% Speed up index 10721

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**8. Systematic validation against experimental results
**

The final milestone to prove the validity of the Tied Mesh method is the test against the real world obtained with several experimental campaigns. The experiments are intended to verify mainly the proposed numerical method but also the applied failure criterion. The experiment involves not only the joint tested during the numerical assessment such as single lap joint and T-peel joint but also a tubular bonded construction subjected to three point bending. The first specimen are typical in experimental adhesive test in laboratory while the last bonded construction is intended to be a simulation of real application of the adhesive in an industrial context.

**8.1 Validation against experimental tests on single lap joints
**

The test campaign on single lap joint is carried out on a small amount of specimens since it gives information only on its stiffness and on the maximum experimental force the joint can withstand. The post-elastic behaviour is not catch because of its abrupt and drastic breakage.

**8.1.1 Joint preparation and execution
**

The execution of the joint must be performed very carefully especially in terms of adhesive thickness precision and adherend misalignment. The dimensions of the joint are reported in Figure 8-1 the adherend material is steel (5 joints) or aluminium (3 joints) and the adhesive is the Loctite Hysol 9466. In order to minimize the experimental error a standard procedure is set up following this step: 1. Grit blasting of the adherends with sandpaper (P200) on both adherends 2. Application of the Loctite 6063 cleaner on the bonding surface on both adherends 3. Place the lower adherend on the fixture 4. Place a calibrated copper wire of 0.15mm of diameter on the bonding area 5. Put the adhesive in the bonding are using the static mixer 6. Place the upper adherend on the lower using shims to ensure the parallelism 7. Put a lead block upon the bonding are to squeeze out the adhesive in excess 8. Wait at least 72h as prescribed by the producer before removing the joint from the fixture

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10 mm

F

1.6mm

ta F 190 mm

Figure 8-1 – Single lap joint specimen dimensions. Width of 25mm. Not to scale.

mm

(a)

(b)

Figure 8-2 – Single lap joint specimen preparation (a) and assembly (b) In Figure 8-2 are shown the main step of the preparation of the single lap joint and in Figure 8-3 can be found a panoramic view of the single lap joint made up.

Figure 8-3 – Single lap joint specimen preparation (a) and assembly (b) The calibrated copper wire is a standard inexpensive technique to ensure a uniform adhesive thickness, even though it will provide a discontinuity in the adhesive layer and a lead to a stress concentration. To avoid this drawback the copper wire is placed in the middle of the overlap (Figure 8-2a) where there are little stresses (see Figure 4-6) and no elastic stress concentrations.

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**8.1.2 Tied mesh model
**

The reduced tied mesh (TM) method reproduces the complete joint geometry described in Figure 8-1 using quadratic shell elements for the adherends and a single strip of quadratic, cohesive, quadrilateral elements with full integration for the adhesive. The choice of structural elements for the adherends creates a gap between their inner faces and the corresponding edges of the adhesive layer. This gap was closed virtually by means of internal constraints which link the corresponding nodes of the parts by equalling the shared active degrees of freedom. The failure criterion chosen for the adhesive implement the cohesive zone model as suggested by [38], while the adherend are considered elasto-plastic with hardening. The material properties are reported in Table 8-1 and were retrieved on the basis of the producer technical datasheet both for the adherends and adhesive. An optimum element length equal to e/4 was found and adopted in the TM model, as consequence of the convergence analysis made for the T-peel joints. This choice produces a model which has 960 elements and 16308 degrees of freedom. Table 8-1 Material properties of the materials used in the single lap adhesive joints Materials Aluminium Young’s modulus (MPa) Poisson’s ratio Post elastic behaviour 69.000 0.3 Yield stress=139 MPa Steel 206.000 0.3 Yield stress=420 MPa Henkel Loctite 9466 1718 0.3 Gc = 0.69 N/mm

**8.1.3 Experimental results and discussion
**

The first results of the experimental campaign on the single lap joint is the Table 8-2 which reports the average adhesive thickness measured as the difference between the thickness of the SL joint and the sum of the adherends before bonding. The precision of the copper wire method is very good and the error is less than 10% in all cases. Table 8-2 - Adhesive thickness in the single lap Average thickness Aluminium Before bonding After bonding Adhesive 3.20 mm 3.34 mm 0.14 mm Steel 3.27 mm 3.42 mm 0.15 mm

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The results of the experimental test on the steel single lap joints is showed in Figure 8-4 with the load displacement curves represented with black solid lines while the application of the tied mesh method is depicted with dashed gray lines. Unfortunately the experimental tests on the aluminium joint were carried on only 3 specimens (see black lines in Figure 8-5 since two of them were unusable for different reasons. One was accidentally moved during the curing of the adhesive and so the adherends misalignment was huge the other on was broken during the position on the universal MTS machine. The accordance with the experimental test is once again very good both for the steel and aluminium joints. The single lap joint has a sudden failure so the post elastic range is hard to be seen but the TM method catches well also this drastic behaviour.

Figure 8-4 –Load displacement experimental curve of steel single lap joint (black solid lines) and TM method analysis (gray dashed lines).

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Figure 8-5 – Load displacement experimental curve of aluminium single lap joint (black solid lines) and TM method analysis (gray dashed lines). Table 8-3 reports the quantitative comparison between the experimental tests and the TM method in terms of peak force. It can be noticed that the error of the proposed method is quite low especially for the steel joints (under 10%). The behaviour of the aluminum joints is slightly worst, but the small amount of specimens tested makes this prediction less important. The overall prediction of the method is good and this confirms the goodness of the proposed method also in versus experimental tests.

Table 8-3 Numerical comparison between experiment and TM prediction for the single lap joint. Aluminium Experimental Peak 6913.3 Force, Fexp (N) Numerical Peak force (N) Relative Error (%) -5.03 = (Fnum-Fexp)/Fexp 7747.8 7357.8 6.43 5.13 9.58 3.52 6998.8 7460 7896.9 Steel 7055.1 8174.5 15.87 6.70 8.10 7661.2 7562.3

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**8.2 Validation against experimental tests on T-peel joints
**

This section is divided in two steps: experimental tests and computational analyses carried out on T-peel joints. The same T-peel joint configuration of the section 7.2, (Figure 7-10), has been considered because of its progressive failure when loaded past the elastic limit. The overall behaviour of this joint allows a simple monitoring of the force-displacement curve up to the complete failure, both in the experimental and in the computational analyses. The work of this section is reported in a paper in press on the International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives [41].

8.2.1 Design of experiment

The experimental campaign was planned through Design of Experiment (DOE) criteria [38]. A full factorial experiment with eight joint configurations was developed by considering two levels for each of the following variables (see and Figure 7-10): adherends thickness t, adherends material and bending arm b. Five repetitions were performed for each joint configuration for a total of 40 joints. The adherends materials were aluminium (EN AW 6060 T6) and steel (S235JR for 2mm thickness and S355JR for 3mm thickness) and the adhesive was a high strength twocomponent epoxy (Henkel Hysol 9466 [42]).

Table 8-4 collects the elastic properties both of the adherends and of the adhesive while their post-elastic behaviour is described by the curves of Figure 8-8. The post-elastic properties of the adherends were obtained from tensile tests in accordance with [44]. The mechanical properties of the adhesive (failure stress) were determined as explained in the following paragraph. The stressstrain behaviour of the adhesive, (Figure 8-8b) was suggested by the purely brittle response described in [45] and [46] for this product. The width of the joints was 25 mm and the adhesive layer thickness sa was in all cases 0.1 mm. The experimental tensile tests were performed quasistatically at a constant crosshead speed of 1 mm/min up to ultimate failure of the joint. 8.2.1.1 Joint preparation and execution

The execution of the joint must be performed very carefully especially in terms of adhesive thickness precision and adherend misalignment.

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In order to prevent the adherends misalignment a wooden fixture shown in Figure 8-8 was constructed and Teflon tape was used to obtain the desired adhesive thickness. The fixture must ensure the complete realization of the joint and the possibility to extract the joint to let the adhesive complete the polymerization (Hysol 9466 needs 72 hours at room temperature). The adherend were clamped using soft spring clips which allow the adhesive to be squeezed out without losing the correct thickness granted by the calibrated Teflon tape.

Figure 8-6 – Wooden fixture for the T-peel joint execution

Figure 8-7 – Teflon tape, adhesive and spring clip application on the T-peel joint

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Table 8-4 Geometrical and material properties of the joints (bondline thickness sa=0.1 mm) Geometry t (mm) b (mm) 2 12 Materials Adherends Aluminium Young’s modulus (MPa) Poisson’s ratio Yield stress (MPa) 69.000 0.3 139 Steel 206.000 0.3 295 (2 mm) 500 (3 mm) Adhesive Henkel Loctite 9466 1718 0.3 Cohesive failure according with [38] 3 20

In order to minimize the experimental error a standard procedure is set up. The steps are: 1. Grit blast of the adherends with sandpaper (P200) on both adherends 2. Apply the Loctite 7063 cleaner on the bonding surface on both adherends 3. Place the Teflon tape to ensure the correct bending arm and adhesive thickness 4. Place the lower adherend on the wooden fixture 5. Put the adhesive in the bonding are using the static mixer 6. Place the upper adherend on the lower using shims to ensure the parallelism 7. Put a lead block upon the bonding are to squeeze out the adhesive in excess 8. Remove the adhesive flash 9. Wait the prescribed 3h of pot time before removing the joint 10. Wait at least 72h as prescribed by the producer before testing the joint

**8.2.2 Tied mesh method
**

Figure 7-10b schematically displays the 2D T model being assessed. The use of the TM method draws to model the adhesive using a single row of continuum 2D plane strain elements. The adherends are modelled by means of structural 2D beam elements lying on their geometrical midsurface. The length of all the adhesive elements along the bondline was made equal to e/4, where e is the distance between the midsurfaces of the adherends.

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8.2.2.1

Failure criterion for the adhesive

A singularity-free stress failure criterion was adopted for the adhesive layer. This approach was inspired by the structural models available in the literature for the stress analysis of the adhesive layer [30]. Also, Goglio et al. [22] proposed a structural model for the assessment of the static strength of structural bonded joints. Here, the method has been extended in order to determine the progressive failure in the adhesive layer up to the complete collapse of the joint. The failure of the adhesive occurs when the peak von Mises stress at the midline of the adhesive layer reaches the failure stress value of the adhesive. The Von Mises equivalent stress was used because it is easier to implement in the ABAQUS software with respect to other failure criteria and provides a more stable solution. In this case of symmetry, where one dominant normal stress component exists, the von Mises criterion is almost equivalent to the maximum normal stress criterion that would be more appropriate to describe brittle failure.

600 500 400 300 200 100 0 0,000

Stress,

(MPa)

0,001

0,002 Strain,

0,003

0,004

(a)

(b)

Figure 8-8 –Constitutive behaviour of adherends (a) and adhesive (b) This von Mises stress was calculated with elastic finite element analyses by applying to the joint model the experimental peak forces registered in the experimental tests. 8.2.2.2 Finite element procedure

The finite element analyses were performed in two steps. The first step calculates the value of the von Mises failure stress of the adhesive for each joint in order to verify whether a single value common to all joints exists. Based on this failure stress, the second step provides the numerical force-displacement curve up to ultimate failure of the joints.

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In the first step, each maximum experimental force was applied to the corresponding FE model and the peak elastic stress in the adhesive was calculated. These peaks represent the critical failure stresses for each joint. The Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was performed on these failure stresses in order to find out which parameters significantly affect this response. The hope is that a common value exists irrespective of geometry and materials of the single joint. In all the analyses of the first step the adherends behaviour was assumed elastic-plastic (see Figure 8-8), while the adhesive behaviour was assumed elastic to reflect its brittle response up to failure. Despite the symmetry of the joints, the FE models described the entire geometry in order to obtain only a single layer of elements for the adhesive. The peak failure stresses were read along the midsurface of the adhesive layer. Thanks to the adoption of a single layer of elements, the model provides a fairly uniform stress field through the thickness of the adhesive. This stress uniformity is an advantage because, in the second step, the method automatically disregards the troublesome stress singularities near the corners of the adherend-adhesive interface. Since the failure criterion is built upon regularized stress values, the occurrence of stress singularities would lead to predicting premature failure of the adhesive.

In the second step, an opening displacement

was applied to each joint, as shown in Figure 7-10,

up to complete separation of the adherends. The behaviour of the adherends was assumed elastic-plastic (Figure 8-8a) while the adhesive was described by the elastic-brittle model of Figure 8-8b. The failure stress values of the adhesive, shown in Figure 8-8b, were retrieved as described in the section 8.2.2.1. In all the analyses, both the adherends and the adhesive were modelled by means of quadratic, full integration elements and the model takes into account non-linearity due to large displacements.

This double step procedure produces two main outputs. In the first step, by the analysis of T-peel joints in the elastic range, the failure stress characteristic of the adhesive is identified. This assessment produces failure stresses which can be immediately extended to the failure prediction of whatever bonded joints. In the second step, the post-elastic field is investigated by assuming that the same failure stress value occurring at the beginning of failure can be adopted up to complete failure of the joint. Therefore this second step validates both the reduced method and the failure criterion for the prediction of the post elastic response of the joint.

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**8.2.3 Experimental results and discussion
**

The first results of the experimental campaign on the single lap joint is the Table 8-5 which reports the average adhesive thickness measured as the difference between the thickness of the T-peel joint and the sum of the adherends before bonding. The precision obtained is very good and the error is less than 10% in all cases. Table 8-5 - Adhesive thickness in the T-peel joint Average thickness Aluminium 2mm Before bonding After bonding Adhesive 4.092 mm 3mm 6.04 mm 2mm Steel 3mm

4.174 mm 5.975 mm 4.27 mm 6.061 mm

4.221 mm 6.114 mm

0.129 mm 0.074 mm 0.096 mm 0.096 mm

Figure 8-9 shows the load-displacement curves obtained from the experimental tests (thin solid lines) and from the computational TM model (thick dashed line) for the joint configurations with aluminium adherends. Similarly Figure 8-10 shows the load-displacements curves obtained from the experimental tests (thin solid lines) and from the computational TM model (thick dashed line) for the joint configurations with steel adherends. Table 8-6 summarizes the results of the experimental tests and computational analyses. The first row presents the peak forces provided by the experimental tensile tests on T-Peel joints. The second row presents, for each joint configuration, the failure stresses, obtained in the first step (i.e. the stresses calculated at the experimental peak forces). The third row shows the average values of such failure stresses for the aluminium and steel adherends respectively. The fourth row reports the peak force values provided by the proposed FE model (second step of the computational analysis) for all the joint configurations considered. Finally the fifth row of Table 8-6 provides a comparison, in terms of relative error, between the numerical and experimental peak forces. The Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) performed on the failure stress of the adhesive showed that the adherends material is the parameter that mainly influences this response. No influence was observed by the adherends thickness and the bending arm.

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Figure 8-11 shows the failed adhesive layer for two joints with aluminium adherends (Figure 8-11a) and steel adherends (Figure 8-11b) and details of the failed surface (200x magnification) captured through an optical microscope. The average central processing unit (CPU) time needed for the second analysis step was 17.6 s, using an Intel Core Duo Mobile Processor T7200. The average CPU time needed for the same analysis was about 35 times higher in the case of a full model as shown in [47]. Table 8-6 Numerical and experimental results Aluminium b (mm) 1. Experimental Peak Force, Fexp (N) 20 12 20 12 t = 2 mm t = 3 mm t = 2 mm Steel t = 3 mm

65.3 ± 11.1 88.6 ± 29.9 487.5 ± 29.3 779.2 ± 72.9 102.7 ± 14.5 129.6 ± 30.1 794.5 ± 53.3 1289.3 ± 162.9 25.3 ± 7.5 25.1± 7.7 17.9 ± 5.7 131.8 ± 9.2 126.4 ± 16.1 113.5 ± 7.8

2. Experimental Failure Stress (MPa) 3. 4. Average Failure Stress (MPa) Numerical Peak Force, Fnum (N)

17.2 ± 6.2 142.7 ± 14.9

21.3 ± 6.8 20 12 20 12 54.6 91.3 -11.1% -16.4% 89.1 135.3 0.6% 4.4%

128.5 ± 12.2 457.9 653.1 -6.1% -13.1% 815.77 1279.6 9.9% 3.1%

5. Relative Error (%) = (Fnum-Fexp)/Fexp

From the diagrams of Figure 8-9 and Figure 8-10 it is observed that, for each joint configuration, the experimental curves are quite similar in the elastic field. Little differences in the elastic stiffness appear only for some steel adherend joints (Figure 8-10b-d). These differences are probably imputable to little inaccuracy in the manufacture of the joint which may have caused a misalignment. A more complex behaviour appears in the experimental post-elastic response. By focusing on aluminium adherend joints a remarkable scatter is observed for all the joint configurations considered. The scatter is evident both for the peak forces and particularly for the post-elastic force-displacement relationship (Figure 8-9). This scatter is mainly due to the failure mode of the adhesive, which was of adhesive type for most aluminium joints (Figure 8-11a) rather than of cohesive type as in the steel joints (Figure 8-11b). Huge scatters imputable to interface adhesive failure are reported also by other researchers [27].

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The scatter in the response of steel adherend joints, on the contrary, is very low. Both the peak forces (first row in Table 8-6) and the post-elastic force-displacement relationship (Figure 8-10) are quite similar for all the replicates of the test. Moreover, the experimental curves obtained for all the steel adherends joints have the typical shape provided in the literature for the T-Peel joint tests (Figure 8-10).

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

Figure 8-9 – Experimental (thin solid lines) and numerical (thick dashed lines) force-displacement curves for aluminium adherend joints

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(a)

(b)

(c) (d) Figure 8-10 – Experimental (thin solid lines) and numerical (thick dashed lines) force-displacement curves for aluminium adherend joints Both for the aluminium and steel adherend joints (Figure 8-9 and Figure 8-10) a progressive yielding of the adherends was observed. This phenomenon, which is coupled to the failure of the adhesive, was noticed also by other researchers [26] for a similar joint configuration.

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(a)

(b)

Figure 8-11 – Typical adhesive failure on an aluminium adherend joint (a) and cohesive failure on a steel adherend joint (b) with microscopic details (200x) of the failure mode The adhesive failure stresses present the same level of scatter as the peak forces. From the ANOVA performed on the failure stress of the adhesive it was assessed that, with exception of the adherends materials, none of the considered variables (t, l) significantly affect the failure stress. This enforced the use of an average failure stress value for the same adherends material (Table 8-6). It is relevant to observe that the average failure stress provided by the aluminium adherend joints is about five times lower than the failure stress provided by the steel adherend joints. As observed before, this low value is clearly due to the adhesive failures at the adherend-adhesive interface (Figure 8-11a) that mainly occurred in the aluminium adherend joints. Probably a more appropriate surface preparation (e.g. chemical etching of the adherends) would provide better adhesion between the adherends and the adhesive. Nevertheless, the occurrence of interface adhesive failures has been advantageous to the aim of the work. It showed that, once suitable data for the adhesive are obtained from the experimental characterization, the TM method is applicable regardless of the type of failure (adhesive or cohesive).

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Moreover, from the diagrams of Figure 8-9 and Figure 8-10 it is seen that the TM method predict very accurately the elastic response of all the joints, for both adherend materials. With regard to the peak force values, the relative error between numerical and experimental results reaches a maximum of about 16% for aluminium adherend joints, while in the case of steel adherend joints the maximum error is lower than 13% (fifth row in Table 8-6). For the post-elastic field, Figure 8-10 shows that the TM method provides a very accurate prediction of the force-displacement curve for steel adherend joints. The same degree of agreement is not achieved for the aluminium joints in Figure 8-9 because the high scatter of the experimental curves cannot be predicted with a single numerical curve. Still, the TM method captures with acceptable approximation the average trend for each joint configuration.

**8.3 Experimental tests on tubular butt joints
**

The aim of this section is the evaluation of the applicability and the accuracy of the Tied Mesh method (TM) in the prediction of the post elastic response of complex bonded structures especially of big size. The validation of the TM method is carried on against an experimental systematic campaign. The application of the TM method is on a square thin-walled beam, made of two different portions joined head to head by overlapping thin plates on each side. The beam is loaded by a three point bending fixture up to complete failure and originates a complex stress field on the bonded region. A cohesive zone model failure criterion has been implemented as proposed in [48] in order to combine the accuracy of the model with the computational speed. The benchmark for the computational analyses are the force-displacement curves obtained by experimental tests performed on joined thin-walled beams with the same geometry as the one considered in the computational model. Moreover it was developed an analytic model of the bonded structure, which is able to explain the influence of the side length of the beam upon the failure load of the structure.

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A beam structure has been considered (Figure 8-12), made of two square thin-walled beams joined head to head by thin plates bonded with single overlap on each side. The structure is loaded under three point bending. The eccentricity of the bonded joint with respect to the loading axis, originates an indirect and complex stress field in the adhesive layers. The structure, simple to manufacture, aims to resemble a real bonded construction and provides a good benchmark for the TM method. Both the computational and experimental tests have been performed quasi statically up to failure of the structure.

Figure 8-12 – Sketch of the bonded thin-walled beam structure, dimensions in mm.

8.3.1 Design of experiment

The experimental campaign was carried on following the criteria of the Design of Experiment [40]. Two variables were considered: the side length of the tubular beam which is varied over two levels (25 and 40mm) and the number of the joining plates used, which are varied over four levels, namely: 1: uncut beam without bonding 2: two plates bonded on the lateral sides of the structure (side-bonded joints) 3: two plates bonded on the upper and lower sides of the structure (top/bottom bonded joints) 4: four bonded plates, one per side (totally bonded joints) In order to minimize the experimental error four repetitions were performed for each level obtaining a total of 8 x 4 =32 structures. The tubular beam used is a commercial longitudinally welded square section in mild steel (Fe 510). The sheet plates used for the overlapping is made of the same material and cut to obtain the desired dimensions. The wall thickness of the square section is 1.5mm as well as the thickness of the overlap sheets.

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The width of the bonded sheets was chosen in order to maintain the same ration between the side lengths of the metal patch. Since the bonding must involve only the planar face of the square section the ratio is set to ¾ obtaining 19mm and 30mm for the side length of 25 and 40mm. The adhesive used is a high strength bi-component epoxy resin [33]. No shims or other techniques were used in order to ensure the thickness of the adhesive layer, the adherends were simply bonded and the thickness is the result of their roughness. Table 8-7 collects the main dimensions and the elastic properties of the adherends and the adhesive. Table 8-7 Numerical and experimental results Geometry Side length of the section, L Width of the sheets, w Adhesive thickness (mm) (mm) (mm) 25 19 0.05 40 30 0.05 Materials Adherends Steel Young’s modulus Poisson’s ratio Maximum elastic stress (MPa) (MPa) 206.000 0.3 500 Adhesive Henkel Loctite 9466 1718 0.3 60

8.3.2 Experimental set-up

The adherends were prepared for the bonding following three steps: first the protective oxide was taken away using a thinner, second a grit blasting was performed in order to ensure the correct roughness of the surface and at the end a further cleaning was performed using the Loctite 7063 [49] which is a specific product of the adhesive producer which provide optimal cleaning and decreasing of the surfaces. The grit blasting was performed manually using rough sandpaper (P80) following a crossed path with an angle of 45° with respect to the longitudinal direction (Figure 8-13b). The last cleaning is necessary to remove all the micro particles produced by the grit blasting and also to degreasing the surfaces before the application of the adhesive.

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The assembly of the joint needs a specific fixture to ensure the correct alignment of the adherends an it was realized in wood, one for each section (25 and 40mm). The fixture (Figure 8-13a) ensure the correct position of the metal patch on the upper and lower side of the joint thanks to the rebate (Figure 8-13a - 1) and to the groove (Figure 8-13a -2). The procedure is fast for the joint with only 2 sheets, but for the level 4 the procedure must be repeated twice (Figure 8-14a). After the bonding the joints are cured at room temperature for 72 hours. The application of calibrated load of 200N by means of pieces of lead ensure the squeeze of the adhesive in excess and the formation of thin air bubbles into the adhesive (Figure 8-14b).

(a)

(b)

Figure 8-13 –Wooden fixture for the butt joint execution (b) 45° grit blasting of the joints

(a)

(b)

Figure 8-14 –Adhesive deposition (b) and application of a calibrated load (200N) to squeeze out the excess of adhesive

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rounded punch

Figure 8-15 – Three point bending fixture on MTS loading machine The adhesive thickness is measured using a gauge, by difference measuring the joint before and after bonding and the average thickness measured is near 0.05mm The experimental test were performed on MTS MINI Bionix 858 a servo hydraulic machine (Figure 8-15), with a constant cross-head speed of 5 mm/s up to complete failure of the joint. The fixture is equipped with a rounded punch to avoid indentation of the section and this allow the load to be applied both on 25mm and to 40mm beam. The data acquisition system of the testing machine provided the instantaneous forcedisplacement relationship with a data sampling of 128 kHz and will be confronted with the simulation provided by the TM method.

**8.3.3 Tied Mesh model of a tubular butt joint
**

The aim of the computational analysis is to provide a force-displacement curve up to the joint failure and to compare it with the experimental results The computational model was developed in 3D because of the complexity of the structure, which resemble a portion of a real bonded structure. The adherends mesh uses shell elements lying on the mid surfaces of the section walls and of the metal patches. The cohesive elements available in the software allow the direct application of the law described in Figure 8-16b and only one layer of elements is used. The tied mesh ensures the connectivity between adherends and adhesive. The mesh dimension is a consequence of the above described convergence procedure and leads to square linear shell elements of 1.5mm and to cohesive elements with a length of 0.75mm.

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The post-elastic behaviour of the adherends is described by the Figure 8-16a, while the adhesive is modelled using the cohesive zone law of Figure 8-16b.

(a)

(b)

Figure 8-16 – Constitutive behaviour for the adherends (a) and for the adhesive (b) The yield stress of the adherends it was selected on the datasheet while the cohesive zone model parameters (σmax= 60 MPa, Fracture energy =0.69 N/m) were retrieved in literature [48] relying on a DCB experimental campaign on the Hysol 9466, For the sake of simplicity the selected criterion assume that the parameter retrieved for the pure mode I may be considered valid also for mode II and III, and the degradation of the mechanical properties follows an exponential law (Figure 8-16b). In order to prevent the rigid motion of the system a hinge was applied to simulate the left support and a sliding hinge was applied to simulate the right support. The analysis was performed using the explicit solver of ABAQUS 6.8 which needs a dynamic application of the load. In order to lower the time of calculation the load was applied at a speed of 150mm/s which is far more fast than the experimental tests. The viscoelasticity is not modelled so this difference cannot be noticed by the FEM. The mass scaling option was also applied to ensure a faster analysis. The main outcome of the numerical test is the force-displacement relationship, to be confronted with the experimental curves. All the analyses are performed with an Intel Dual Core Xeon 3.2 GHz with 4Gb of RAM.

**8.3.4 Butt joint results and discussion
**

The charts of Figure 8-17 shows the force-displacements curve for the structures bonded with only two metal patches. The solid black lines are the experimental tests, while the red dashed lines are the TM prediction. In the charts of Figure 8-18 are reported the force-displacements curve for the structures bonded with for metal patches and for the uncut structure.

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The full model of the proposed joint is not provided because it is too slow and does not converge. The element size needed to obtain a FE model manageable by the workstation is too high (10mm) and would draw to misleading results, especially for the adhesive layer. The quantitative analysis is reported in the subsequent tables which shows the correctness of the TM method in terms of stiffness (Table 8-8), peak force ( Table 8-9) and energy (Table 8-10). The relative error is calculated as the ratio difference between TM method and experimental results minus one.

(a)

(b)

(c) (d) Figure 8-17 – Force displacement charts for the structure bonded with two patches on the top/bottom (arc) and on the sides (b,d).

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(a)

(b)

(c) (d) Figure 8-18 – Force displacement charts for the structure bonded with four patches on the (a, c) and for the uncut beam (b, d) Table 8-8 Stiffness of the structure. Numerical and experimental results

Configuration Average exp. stiffness ks, av dev.st (kN) TM method stiffness KTM (kN) Relative error (%) 100*(kTM – kexp, av)/kexp, av 4.9 0.1 4.0 0.1 10.5 2.0 9.7 0.1 5.1 0.1 4.6 0.1 13.1 1.2 12.0 0.6 4.1 -15.7 2.0 -49.2 10.9 3.8 7.8 -19.0 4.6 -11.2 4.3 -6.7 12.2 -7.4 12.3 2.5

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**Table 8-9 Peak force of the structure. Numerical and experimental results
**

Configuration Average exp. peak force Fs, av max dev.st (kN) TM method peak force FTM (kN) Relative error (%) 100*(FTM –Fexp, av)/Fexp, av 3.8±0.3 2.4±0.0 3.53 -6.7 2.00 -16.8 4.7±0.7 4.58 -2.5 6.1±0.3 5.7±0.1 5.7±0.0 11.2±0.1 11.2±0.1 5.17 -15.5 5.32 -6.1 5.34 -5.7 11.29 0.6 11.35 1.4

**Table 8-10 Energy adsorbed up to failure by the structure. Numerical and experimental results
**

Configuration Average exp. energy Es, av max dev.st (kN) TM method energy ETM (kN) Relative error (%) 100*(ETM –Eexp, av)/Eexp, av 3.5 0.5 14.3 0.6 3.9 1.1 20.8 1.2 72.5 1.1 72.2 0.8 135.2 0.9 134.0 0.7 3.0 -16.1 7.6 -47.2 3.0 -22.9 11.2 -46.1 72.9 0.5 73.4 1.7 108.3 -19.8 108.3 -19.2

8.3.4.1

Analytic consideration about the joint mechanics

From the results collected in Table 8-9 it comes up a difference between the load sustained by the structure for the beam with two sheets for 25mm and 40mm side length considered. For the smaller joint the top/bottom bonded joints (Figure 8-17a) produce higher forces than the side bonded joints (Figure 8-17b), while for the bigger one the peak force is bigger for the sided bonded joints ((Figure 8-17c). Two simple analytical models can be developed to explain the dependence of the peak force on the dimension of the side of the beam (L). Analytical peel model. The configuration showed in Figure 8-17a-c is similar to double a single lap joint. The state of stress of the adhesive layer is produced by the bending moment and the shear load on the whole structure under three point bending. Considering the models proposed by Goland e Reissner [4] and Bigwood e Crocombe [20] the internal action on the adherend can be reduced to a normal stress and a shear stress (see Figure 8-19a). Thus, adhesive is under both shear and peel stresses but only the peel stress is considered because it is normally more dangerous for the bonded joints. In keeping with Bigwood e Crocombe [20] the peel stress is dependent form the load to length ratio T/L thus the maximum force born by the structure (Fmax) is in first approximation in direct proportion with L.

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N T/2 L N T/2 (a) (b) t L w M

B T/2 B Mf

Figure 8-19 – Scheme of the model used for the analytical considerations both for the top-bottom bonded joints (a) and for the side bonded joints (b).

Analytical shear model. The stress field in the side bonded joints may be analyzed using the model of two shell bonded to a torsionally rigid frame and loaded in torsion Figure 8-19b in keeping with the formulation proposed by Feodosyev [50]. In this particular configuration the tangential stresses are reported in (35) and (36).

x

M w 2J p 2

(35)

y

M t 2J p 2

T 2A

(36)

In which

**M is the torsional couple in the centre of gravity of the bonded area which is produced
**

A is

by the internal action in section B-B (see Figure 8-19b). J p is the polar moment of inertia and the area of the adhesive.

T is the shear load on the BB section which mainly causes the tangential

stresses in the adhesive. Since there are no stress concentration factors because of the regularity of the geometry, of the fixture and of the loading equation (35) and (36) well estimate the stress field. Following the Feodosyev method the maximum stress can be retrieved combining equation (35) and (36) as follows:

η max

2 ηx

2 ηy

(37)

**From simple consideration it can be noticed that there are the following relationship in equation (35) and (36):
**

x

1 L2

(38)

y

1 L3

1 L

(39)

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Thus the component η x is in inverse proportion to the square of side L of the structure, while the

**η y component needs further consideration. Since the shear is normally less important than the
**

moment it can be disregarded so the η y is proportional to

1 . Once we combine the L3

components using (37) we found that the η max globally is proportional to

1 . L2

As a consequence of this simple considerations the peak force that the joint can withstand, being in inverse proportion with respect to the η max is proportional to L2 If we consider the peak forces of Table 8-9 and confront for the same type of bonding the force dependence on the side we can draw the consideration reassumed in Table 8-11. The joint with top/bottom bonding the peak force is nearly proportional to the side dimension; the difference is imputable to the approximation made in the analytic process. In the side bonded joint the peak forces ratio is in exact proportion with L2 . The analytical prediction can be considered correct having an error of the 20% in the first case and only of the 1% in the second one. Table 8-11 Dependency of the peak force on the side on the structure (L) Configuration Critical stress component Dependency of the critical stress on the side L Side ratio σ τ

1 L 25 40

3.8 4.7

1 L2

0.625

25 40

2.4 6.1

2

0.39

Peak force ratio

F25 mm (kN) F40 mm

0.808

0.393

8.3.4.2

Experimental test discussions

From the charts of Figure 8-17 and Figure 8-18 it can be noticed a very small dispersion of the Load-Displacement curves in the several replicates of the tests. In particular the failure of the joint, whenever happens, is more or less at the same displacement. This little dispersion testifies the accuracy of the joint execution and the validity of the typology of joint chosen. In both configurations the stiffness (Table 8-8) and the peak force (Table 8-9) are very close for the same side dimensions. The Table 8-10 it is showed a great difference in the energy between the two joints and this is due to the type of stresses in the adhesive. In Figure 8-17 the joint

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shows two very different modes of failure, the top/bottom bonded joints (Figure 8-17a-c) immediately crash while the side-bonded joints (Figure 8-17b-d) show a “plastic” failure. On the one hand the concentration of peel stresses in the top/bottom configurations leads to a severe damage of the joint and moreover the fracture is highly instable because of the geometric conditions. On the other hand the shear stresses in the side bonded joint present lower peaks and the fracture grows slowly into the adhesive because the relative rotation of the beam and the sheets originates a stable stress into the adhesive. This explains the 4-5 times higher energy of the sided-bonded joints (Figure 8-17b-d). The experimental test of Figure 8-18 shows that the completely bonded configuration lead to a response quite similar to the uncut beam, which demonstrates that the adhesive patch grants identical performances in terms of stiffness, peak force and energy when the design allow an efficient load transfer. 8.3.4.3 Tied Mesh method discussion

The prediction of the TM method is quite good as showed in charts of Figure 8-17a-c with respect to the experimental. The error in terms of stiffness is under 16%, in terms of peak force is under 7% and only the prediction of the energy has higher (23%) error. The side-bonded joints Figure 8-17b-d has a greater error, mainly because the cohesive property of the adhesive calibrated for pure mode I were used also for mode II and III. The adhesive shows a better strength when subjected to a shear stress and this fact is confirmed by the TM prediction which under estimates both stiffness and peak force of the side-bonded joints. From the charts of Figure 8-18 it can be noticed an excellent agreement between the TM method and experimental tests, especially in the 25mm joints. The accuracy in terms of stiffness draws to a maximum error of 7%, the peak force of 1% and the energy is under the 20% of error. The proposed TM method is and efficient and accurate tools in the prediction of the behaviour of this bonded construction which resembles a portion of complex structure. Once the method is provided with reliable data about the elastic and post elastic properties of the adhesive the prediction is very good.

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9. General discussion

This section summarizes the results presented in detail in my thesis and shows the pros and cons of the tied mesh method. In particular it is interesting to evaluate the performance of the TM method in the elastic range, analyzing the stress distribution and the stiffness and in the post elastic range, analyzing the peak force and the adsorbed energy. The comparison is performed on several geometries starting from the classic single lap joints to a complex bonded construction. The benchmark depends on the type of the geometries considered, for simple joints it is possible to compare the TM method versus the analytical model or the full models, while in case of complex bonded structures the benchmark are mainly against the experimental tests.

**9.1 Comparison in the in the elastic range
**

The comparison in the elastic range is presented in section 5.1 as a preliminary analysis on single lap joint while the systematic analyses are reported in section 5.2. The section 6 reports a validation of the proposed TM methods in the elastic range on a couple of 2D joint geometries, such as the T-peel joint and the wavy lap joint. The validation in the elastic range in case of 3D constructions is made against a full finite element model, because analytical methods are not suitable for these particular geometries. The general discussion provided in this section regards the performances of the tied method both versus the analytical models and the FM for the several geometries analyzed in the thesis. The data are collected in Table 9-1 and compared in terms of maximum and mean error on the elastic stress (shear and peel), maximum and mean error on stiffness, degrees of freedom of the model and time elapsed by the CPU (only for TM and FM).

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Table 9-1 Error of the TM method in the elastic range Joint geometry Shear stress error Max Analytical FM Wavy lap 3D Square bracket Tubular FM FM FM 2.08% 4.97% 8.01% Mean 1.84% 4.69% 4.47% Peel stress error Max Mean Stiffness error Max Mean 4.56% 3.20% Speed up index 610 646.3 2536 496.6

Benchmark

Single lap

11.02% 8.821% 11.32% 3.76% 6.70% 23.96 13.73% 2.671% 2.07% -9.42 4.27% 9.76%

8.51% 47.51% 30.72% 7.74%

32.81% 13.68% 4.40% 0.64%

The general consideration on the data presented in Table 9-1 is that the TM method is able to predict the general trend of the elastic stresses in the adhesive with a quite good accuracy and in the most cases with errors below 10%. The worst prediction is in the 3D square bracket because the TM model has a too coarse mesh and the errors are quite relevant. But than the 3D square bracket presents the highest speed up index with respect to others 2D joints. Probably in case of 3D geometries the best mesh size is smaller than the eccentricity between the adherends, as for the post-elastic range. Thus, the global prediction of the elastic stresses and the stiffness is satisfactory and the proposed TM method is a reliable tool useful to the elastic analysis of bonded joints. In particular the excellent speed up index can be very attractive for the assessment of the bonded structures especially in the industrial world.

**9.2 Comparison in the in the post-elastic range
**

The comparison in post elastic range is carried on using two difference benchmarks. The first benchmarks is once again the FM because the first work is performed is a pure numerical one [47] and aims at validating the method against the traditional FEM. The general discussion of this analysis is reported in the next section by comparing the main quantitative parameters of the Force-displacement curves obtained from the analyses. The second and more important benchmark is against the experimental test performed during my PhD. There are both systematic analyses carried on typical joints following DoE criteria such as the experimental campaign on Tpeel joints (section 8.2) and verification test on a little population of specimens like the single lap experimental campaign (8.1). Moreover a complex construction such as the tubular butt joint

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showed in section 8.3 is analyzed with an experimental DoE campaign and confronted with the results of the TM method.

**9.2.1 Tied mesh method against full FE method
**

The comparison in the post elastic range is presented in section 7. The systematic analysis is presented on 2D T-peel joints in section 7.1, where are described the geometries and results obtained. The section 7.2 reports a validation of the proposed TM methods in the post elastic range on a typology of 3D T-peel joint. All details are thus reported in sections 7.1 and 7.2. The general discussion provided in this section regards the performances of the tied method only versus the several geometries analyzed in the thesis with the FM, because the prediction in the post elastic range is not possible using the analytical models of the literature. The data are collected in a table and compared in terms of maximum and mean error on the elastic stiffness, maximum and mean error on peak load and deformation energy. Moreover is provided also the speed up index, i.e. the ratio between the time elapsed by the CPU using the FM and the time using the TM. The TM models used in these analyses are slightly different from the previous section because the mesh size is e/4. This reduction becomes necessary because the post-elastic analyses suffer more of instability and convergence problems than an elastic one.

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Table 9-2 Error of the TM method in the post elastic range versus FM Elastic stiffness error Joint geometry Max T-peel 2D Aluminium T-peel 2D Steel T-peel 3D Steel 3.7% Mean -1.92% Max Mean Max 35.1% Mean 22.62% Max 45.6 Mean 26.02 Peak force error Deformation energy error Speed up index

14.7% 7.45%

5.8%

-2.36%

10.9% 5.05%

36.3%

24.32%

433.7

75.47

21.26%

-6.94%

2.23%

10721

The general consideration on the data presented in Table 9-2 is that the TM method is able to predict the general force-displacement curves of an adhesively bonded joint. The accuracy is quite good and in terms of peak load the errors are below 10% while the worst prediction is in terms of adsorbed energy. The prediction of the elastic stiffness which is not bad for the systematic analysis (for two rows of Table 9-2) depends only on the TM method while the peak force and the deformation energy depends also on the failure criterion adopted. Since there is no accordance in literature on the best failure criterion for the adhesive a stress based criterion was adopted for the systematic analysis of section 7.1 (both for brittle and plastic adhesive) while a cohesive zone model approach was used for the 3D T-peel joint. The global prediction of the elastic stresses and the stiffness is satisfactory and the proposed TM method is a reliable tool useful to the elastic analysis of bonded joints.

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**9.2.2 Tied mesh method against experimental results
**

The comparison against the experimental results is presented in section 8. The little experimental campaign on the single lap joint is presented in detail in section 8.1 where are described the geometries and results obtained. The section 8.2 reports a wide systematic campaign of the proposed TM methods in the post elastic range on several geometries of T-peel joint. The section 8.3 reports another systematic campaign of the proposed TM methods in the post elastic range on a mock up of a complex construction a square tubular joint butt bonded with overlapped metal sheets. The general discussion provided in this section regards the performances of the tied method only versus the experimental test, because the comparison with the FM has been already showed in the previous section and in most cases the model are too big to be computed. The data are collected in Table 9-3 and compared in terms of maximum and mean error on the elastic stiffness, maximum and mean error on peak load and deformation energy. The TM models used in these analyses have the mesh size of e/4, as a consequence of the previous steps.

Table 9-3 Error of the TM method in the post elastic range versus the experimental test Joint geometry Elastic stiffness error Max 11.34% Mean 18.24% Peak force error Max 14.36% Mean 8.14% Deformation energy error Max -42.45% Mean -35.34%

Single lap joint T-peel joint Steel T-peel joint Aluminium Tubular butt joint

24.60%

12.86%

3.75%

1.58%

21.59%

14.32%

18.67%

9.93%

52.37%

32.07%

65.03%

36.78%

-49.2%

-12.86%

-16.8%

-6.41%

-47.2%

-21.13%

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The general consideration on the data presented in Table 9-3 is that the TM method is able to predict the general force-displacement curves of a complex bonded structure. The accuracy is quite good and once again the best prediction is in terms of peak load. The only exception is the set of aluminum T-peel joints which shows a very big experimental scatter due to the adhesive failure mode (Figure 8-9). This causes the greater error in the overall prediction. Apart from this particular case the prediction of the TM is fair with the worst prediction is in terms of adsorbed energy. In Table 9-3 there is no information about the speed up ratio because in most cases it was impossible to produce a FM to be used as a benchmark. This shows the great capability of the TM of analyzing complex bonded structures unaffordable with the crude application of the FEM. The experimental test used as benchmark provides the final evidence that the TM method is a powerful tool for the analysis of the bonded structure. The main asset of this method is its speed and the chance to implement a lot of different criteria for the failure of the adhesively bonded joints.

9.3 Concluding remarks

The Tied Mesh (TM) method is a FE technique based on standard elements The TM can be used for the efficient analysis of the thin-walled bonded structures The use of structural elements and kinematic constraints allow us to have faster models The comparison in the elastic field is very good both versus analytical and full FE model The prediction in post elastic field is good if the failure criterion used is correct The TM produces a speed increment of 50 times in 2D and more than 2000 in 3D The prediction against experimental tests is good especially in terms of peak force The TM is able to analyze complex bonded 3D structures while often the FM cannot The TM exported in the industrial world provides reliable results with acceptable errors

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**10. Future works
**

The Tied mesh method showed a great capability in the prediction of the strength of the adhesive bonded joints. The natural evolution of this efficient technique is the construction of a finite element able to link the shells which represent the adherends without having a thickness. This should be a linking element with elastic properties and the capability to implement several failure criteria both stress or strain based ones and cohesive zone model. The great advantage of such an element is in the modelling of the bonded structures. Having zero thickness the shell mesh may be coarse and the size of the FE model could be larger. Moreover a zero thickness tied mesh element is useful because it is very simple to apply to the adherends and even though it is a special element could be easily managed by the industrial world. Another further improvement in the modelling of adhesive bonded construction could be a “sandwich” element able to model the adherends and the adhesive at once. This element should have the capability to integrate two or more shells elastically joined by the adhesive. The sandwich has to be able to be connected to other shell elements and has to be able to implement the common failure criteria for the adhesive. The idea of a sandwich element could be easily blended with the approach used in the composite field in which a single ply is modelled describing orientation and elastic properties of fibres and matrix. Since the adhesive is the most used type of joining for composites there is a particular need of an efficient element capable to model at once the adhesive and the adherends ply. These two ideas could be implemented in FE software like ABAQUS as special elements, but if their efficacy and efficiency were scientifically tested they could be integrated as a standard option in whatever general purpose software.

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11. Conclusions

This thesis shows the method and the outcome of my research in the field of adhesively bonded constructions. The main assets of this research were the development of methodology for the efficient analysis of the bonded constructions and the validation of the proposed tied mesh (TM) method. The TM method can fill the lack of simple design tools which can guide the adhesive joint designer in using efficiently the Finite Element Method, especially in the industrial world. Adhesive bonding is increasingly being used to join both metal and composite materials, particularly in the mechanical and automotive industry, as adhesives may provide a more efficient method of joining than mechanical joints (bolts and rivets). The diffusion of this technology is mainly limited by the poor prediction tool available for the industrial world. The TM method relies on standard structural elements to model the adherends and on solid elements for the adhesive modelling. The proposed method was extensively analyzed and compared with other approaches: analytical, numerical and experimental. The results show that the comparison in the elastic field is very good both versus analytical and full FE models. The prediction in post elastic field is good but depends on the failure criterion used. The TM method may support the more common failure criteria from stress or strain based one to energy or cohesive zone model approach. The TM produces an increment of speed analysis of more than 50 times in 2D geometries and provides 2000 times faster analysis in 3D problems. The accuracy of the TM prediction versus experimental tests is good especially in terms of peak force and quite good in terms of stiffness and deformation energy. The TM method is able to obtain high numerical efficiency and good results compared with the other methods, and when the complexity of the problems increases it became the only valid option for the analysis of the bonded structures.

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12. Bibliography

12.1 Original contribution of the author

(a) Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Failure analysis of bonded T-peel joints: efficient modelling by standard finite elements with experimental validation”, International journal of Adhesion and Adhesives – in press – in press, doi 10.1016/j.ijadhadh.2009.10.004 (b) Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Robust shape optimization of tubular butt joint for characterizing thin adhesive layers under uniform direct and shear stresses” Accepted on the Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology – in press. (c) Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Efficient Post-Elastic Analysis of Bonded Joints by Standard Finite Element Techniques” Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology 23 (2009) 1459–1476. (d) A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Analisi a collasso di giunzioni incollate: modellazione efficiente agli elementi finiti e convalida sperimentale” Book “Seconda giornata di studio Ettore Funaioli” Asterisco Edizioni ISBN 978-88-866909-53-2 pp 57-6 (e) E. Dragoni, D. Castagnetti, A. Spaggiari “Calcolo efficiente del comportamento strutturale di costruzioni incollate complesse” Book Giornata di studio in onore di Ettore Funaioli. AlmaDL, p. 69-88, ISBN/ISSN: 978-88-902128-9-5 (f) A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Efficient finite element modeling of the static collapse of complex bonded structures” Proceeding of the International Conference on CRACK PATHS (CP 2009) Vicenza 23 - 25 September, 2009. (g) A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni "Failure analysis of bonded t-peel joints: efficient modelling by standard finite elements with experimental validation" Proceeding of Euradh ‘September '08 Oxford, UK. (h) A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Verifica sperimentale di modelli efficienti agli elementi finiti per la previsione del collasso statico di strutture incollate complesse” Proceedings of the XXXVIII AIAS Congress –, 9-11 September 2009, Turin. (i) A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni "Legame tra spessore e resistenza statica in adesivi soggetti a sollecitazione tangenziale uniforme" Proceedings of the XXXVII AIAS congress, September 2008, Rome, IT.

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(j)

A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, “ABAQUS per la simulazione efficiente del comportamento strutturale di costruzioni incollate complesse” 18 ° Abaqus Regional Users’ Meeting –Turin, 21-23 November 2007

(k) A. Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Metodi efficienti agli elementi finiti per l’analisi a collasso di strutture incollate” Proceedings of XXXVI AIAS congress, September 2008, Naples.

12.2 References

[1] Adams, R. D., Comyn, J. and Wake, W. C. Structural adhesive joints in engineering. (1997) [2] Silva, L. F. and Ochsner, A. Modeling of Adhesively Bonded Joints (2008). [3] Volkersen, O. Die Nietkraftverteilung in zugbeanspruchten Nietverbindungen mit konstanten Laschenquerschnitten. Luftfahrtforschung (1938) 15(1/2) pp.41-47. [4] Goland, M. and Reissner, E. The stresses in cemented joints. J. Appl. Mesh., ASME (1944) 11. [5] Carpenter, W. C. Viscoelastic analysis of bonded connections. Computers and Structures (1991) 36(6) pp.1141-1152. [6] Hart-Smith, L. J. Adhesive-bonded single-lap joints. NASA CR-112236 (1973) 10 pp.204 [7] Tsai, M. Y. and Morton, J. An evaluation of analytical and numerical solutions to the single-lap joint. International journal of solids and structures (1994) 31(18) pp.2537-2563. [8] Bigwood, D. A. and Crocombe, A. D. Non-linear adhesive bonded joint design analyses. International journal of adhesion and adhesives (1990) 10(1) pp.31-41. [9] Rao, B. N., Rao, Y. and Yadagiri, S. Analysis of composite bonded joints. Fibre Sci. Technol. (1982) 17(2) pp.77-90. [10] Yadagiri, S., Reddy, C. P. and Reddy, T. S. Viscoelastic analysis of adhesively bonded joints. Computers Structures (1987) 27(4) pp.445-454. [11] Reddy, J. N. and Roy, S. Non-linear analysis of adhesively bonded joints. Int. J. Nonlinear mech. (1988) 23(2) pp.97-112. [12] Amijima, S. and Fujii, T. A simple stress analysis method for adhesive bonded tapered joints. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (1989) 9 pp.155-160. [13] Li, G. and Lee-Sullivan, P. Finite element and experimental studies on single-lap balanced joints in tension. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (2001) 21(3) pp.211-220.

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[14] Lin and Lin, Y. E. A finite element model of single-lap adhesive joints. International journal of solids and structures (1993) 30(12) pp.1679-1692. [15] Edlund, U. and Klarbring, A. A geometrically nonlinear model of the adhesive joint problem and its numerical treatment. Comp. Methods appl. Mech. Eng. (1992) 96(3) pp.329-350. [16] Tong, L. and Sun, X. Nonlinear stress analysis for bonded patch to curved thin-walled structures. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (2003) 23(5) pp.349-364. [17] Andruet, R. H., Dillard, D. A. and Holzer, S. M. Two-and three-dimensional geometrical nonlinear finite elements for analysis of adhesive joints. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (2001) 21(1) pp.17-34. [18] Goncalves, J., De Moura, M. and De Castro, P. A three-dimensional finite element model for stress analysis of adhesive joints. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (2002) 22(5) pp.357-365. [19] Crocombe, A. D. Kinloch, A. J. Review of Adhesive Bond Criteria. (1994) [20] Ikegami, K., Takeshita, T., Matsuo, K. and Sugibayashi, T. Strength of adhesively bonded scarf joints between glass fibre-reinforced plastics and metals. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (1990) 10 pp.199-206. [21] Lee, S. J. and Lee, D. G. Development of a fatigue failure model for the adhesively bonded tubular single lap joint under dynamic torsional loading. The Journal of adhesion (1996) 56 (14) pp.157-170. [22] Goglio, L., Rossetto, M. and Dragoni, E. Design of adhesive joints based on peak elastic stresses. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (2008) 28(8) pp.427-435. [23] Harris, J. A. and Adams, R. D. Strength prediction of bonded single lap joints by non-linear finite element methods. International journal of adhesion and adhesives (1984) 4(2) pp.6578. [24] Griffith, A. A. The phenomena of rupture and flow in solids. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Containing Papers of a Mathematical or Physical Character (1921) pp 163.-198. [25] Kinloch, A. J. “Adhesion and adhesives: science and technology”. Kluwer Academic Pub. (1987). [26] Anderson, G. P. and DeVries, K. L. Predicting strength of adhesive joints from test results. International Journal of Fracture (1989) 39(1) pp. 191.-200.

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[27] Tvergaard, V. and Hutchinson, J. W. The influence of plasticity on mixed mode interface toughness. J. Mech. Phys. Solids (1993) 41(6) pp. 1119-1135. [28] De Borst, R. Numerical aspects of cohesive-zone models. Engineering Fracture Mechanics (2003) 70(14) pp. 1743-1757. [29] Maiti, S., Ghosh, D. and Subhash, G. A generalized cohesive element technique for arbitrary crack motion. Finite Elements in Analysis Design (2009) 45(8-9) pp 501-510. [30] Bigwood, D. A. and Crocombe, A. D. Elastic analysis and engineering design formulae for bonded joints. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (1989), 9 pp.229-242. [31] Castagnetti, D. and Dragoni, E. Standard finite element techniques for efficient stress analysis of adhesive joints. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (2009) 29(2) pp.125-135. [32] Zeng, Q. G. and Sun, C. T. Novel design of a bonded lap joint. AIAA journal (2001) 39(10) pp. 1991-1996. [33] Henkel – Loctite Technical Datasheet. Hysol 9466 https://tds.us.henkel.com//NA/UT/HNAUTTDS.nsf/web/084FA463C553DE91882571870 000D8FC/$File/9466-EN.pdf [34] Avila, A. D. and Bueno International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (2004) 24(5) pp.145-153. [35] Crocombe, A. D. Global yielding as a failure criterion for bonded joints. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (1989) 9 pp.145-153. [36] Cui, J., Wang, R., Sinclair, A. N. and Spelt, J. K. A calibrated finite element model of adhesive peeling. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (2003), 23(3) pp.199206. [37] Van Tooren, M., Gleich, D. M. and Beukers, A. Experimental verification of a stress singularity model to predict the effect of bondline thickness on joint strength. Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology (2004), 18(4) pp.395-412. [38] Anderson, M. J. and Whitcomb, P. J. DOE simplified: practical tools for effective experimentation. Productivity press (2000). [39] Pirondi, A. and Moroni, F. An investigation of fatigue failure prediction of adhesively bonded metal/metal joints. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (2009), 29(8) pp.796-805.

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[40] Montgomery, D. C. Design and analysis of experiments (1995). [41] Spaggiari, D. Castagnetti, E. Dragoni “Failure analysis of bonded T-peel joints: efficient modelling by standard finite elements with experimental validation”, International journal of Adhesion and Adhesives – in press – in press, doi 10.1016/j.ijadhadh.2009.10.004 [42] Henkel – Loctite Technical Datasheet. Multibond 330 http://65.213.72.112/tds5/docs/3301-EN.PDF [43] Castagnetti, D. Spaggiari A. and Dragoni E. Metodi efficienti agli elementi finiti per l’analisi a collasso di strutture incollate. Proceeding of XXXVI AIAS Congress, Sept. 2009 Napoli. [44] EN 10002-1 “Metallic Materials - Tensile Testing - Part 1: Method of Test at Ambient Temperature”, 2001. [45] Goglio L, Peroni L, Peroni M, Rossetto M. High strain-rate compression and tension behaviour of an epoxy bi-component adhesive. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives (2008) 28(7) pp. 329-339. [46] Peroni L, Avalle M, Belingardi G. Comparison of the energy absorption capability of crash boxes assembled by spot-weld and continuous joining techniques. International Journal of Impact Engineering (2009) 36(3) pp. 498-511. [47] Castagnetti, D. Spaggiari A. and Dragoni E. Efficient Post-elastic Analysis of Bonded Joints by Standard Finite Element Techniques. Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology (2009) 23 pp.1459–1476. [48] Pirondi A., Fersini D., Perotti E. and Moroni F. Applicabilità del modello di zona coesiva in simulazioni della frattura per diverse geometrie di giunti incollati. Proceeding of XIX IGF Congress, Milan July 2007. [49] Henkel – Loctite Technical Datasheet. Cleaner 7063 http://tds.loctite.com/tds5/docs/7063EN.PDF [50] Feodos'ev, V. I., Voronov, S. A. and Yaresko, S. V. Advanced stress and stability analysis: worked examples. Foundations of Engineering Mechanics (2005).

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ACKNOLEDGEMENTS

che significa grazie, davvero Tante persone hanno contribuito al mio percorso di dottorato, all’attività scientifica svolta e descritta in questa tesi. Prima di tutto, per il sostegno tecnico, scientifico e umano devo ringraziare Eugenio Dragoni perché buona parte di quello che ho imparato durante questi tre anni lo devo a lui. Se prima o poi arriverò a padroneggiare la conoscenza della costruzione di macchine sarà merito suo. Avermi insegnato metodo scientifico, metodo di lavoro e metodo di vita è il risultato più prezioso del mio dottorato, molto meglio di pubblicazioni su riviste prestigiose. Grazie anche a Davide, con il quale ho lavorato fianco a fianco su tutti il filone di ricerca dei giunti incollati e non solo. E’ anche grazie a lui che il lavoro è potuto procedere per il meglio. Grazie anche al Prof. Antonio Strozzi che ha seguito come tutor il mio percorso di dottorato. Un doveroso ringraziamento lo voglio dedicare a Piero Mauri e alla Loctite Henkel, in primo luogo perché raramente si trovano persone che credono con tale ardore nella ricerca scientifica (sic) e in secondo luogo per avermi sempre fornito tutto il materiale di cui avevo bisogno per gli esperimenti di laboratorio, adesivi, aderendi, pulitori, detersivi e supporto ai tesisti. Un grazie anche a Igor per il suo entusiasmo e la sua capacità di credere al 100% nelle idee e nelle persone e per i numerosi consigli e commenti che hanno costellato i quasi tre anni gomito a gomito in ufficio insieme. Nonostante i ripetuti tentativi però non mi ha portato sulla salutare strada del fitness e della palestra, ma d’altra parte lo stato dell’arte sui miracoli è ancora scarso quindi non si poteva chiedere di più. Grazie anche a Giovanni e a Cocco per il supporto tecnico e di gestione del Laboratorio. Vorrei anche ringraziare il Prof. Goglio del Politecnico di Torino e il prof. Bob Adams, che non ha bisogno di presentazioni, autorevoli referenze per il mio CV. Inoltre non ci si può scordare del gruppo di lavoro mensa dei ricchi CIR composto da Fabio, Claudio, Cocco, Riccardo, Giovanni, Eugenio e me che, sfidando la sorte, si è calato nella selva oscura delle combinazioni di menù ridotti completi con speciale, senza frutta ma con dolce che fa sembrare l’ingegneria una robina semplice semplice. Per festeggiare vi offrirò un menù completo con “speciale”! A Valerio, Fiorenzo e Davide Montanari, i tre moschettieri dell’ufficio tecnico, voglio dire grazie per il valido aiuto scientifico, tecnico e informatico. E per le melanzane alla parmigiana di Fiorenzo. Al comparto amministrativo: Grazia, Paola, Elena Francesca e Antonio. Grazie per aver capito che io e la burocrazia siamo agli antipodi e avermi sempre aiutato nella compilazione di tutta la modulistica. Con questo si concludono i ringraziamenti al mondo tecnico-scientifico-accademico, ma cominciano quelli delle persone cui tengo di più. Ai miei genitori che si sono rassegnati ad avere un ingegnere che “invece di andare a lavorare” va all’università. Adesso che c’è la crisi mia madre ha avuto qualche segno di pentimento. Grazie per avermi dato la possibilità di fare quello che mi piace. Alla mia Lidoska, che vive benissimo senza l’ingegneria e che fa finta di non annoiarsi quando ne parlo. Grazie per questo, ma soprattutto perché ci sei e ci sei sempre stata. Ai miei nonni, perché sono ancora lì per ricordarmi che sono un bravo nipote, senza se e senza ma.

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A tutti i miei amici ingegneri, ma soprattutto a quello con la testa grande e il complesso del non ingegnere voglio dire grazie per le migliaia o forse milioni di mail inutili mandate in questi anni. Se non le avessi lette avrei potuto organizzare più grigliate a Pecorile, non è stato un buon affare secondo me.

Andrea Spaggiari

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