Composite layup effect on the failure mechanism of single lap bonded joints

J. Kupski, S. Teixeira de Freitas*, D. Zarouchas, P. P. Camanho, R. Benedictus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
211 Downloads (Pure)


Single lap bonded joints with four different composite adherend stacking sequences were tested and numerically simulated. The aim was to evaluate the effect of the layups on the quasi-static tensile failure of the bonded joints. The study shows that increasing the adherends bending stiffness postpones the damage initiation in the joint. However, this is no longer valid for final failure. The ultimate load is influenced by how the damage progresses. For similar bending stiffness, a layup that leads to the crack propagating from the adhesive towards the inside layers of the composite increases the ultimate load. The failure mode is highly influenced by the orientation of the interface lamina in contact with the adhesive, such that, a 0° interface ply causes failure within the bond line, while a 90° interface ply causes failure inside the composite adherend. Finally, it is concluded that a quasi-isotropic layup may not be the best choice in terms of tensile joint strength. In order to improve tensile strength up to damage initiation, the layup should be optimized for bending stiffness, while up to final failure, a stacking sequence that yields to a complex crack path inside the composite can lead to higher ultimate loads.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-26
Number of pages13
JournalComposite Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Composite bonded joints
  • Composite layup variation
  • Single lap joints


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