Multi-material adhesive joints with thick bond-lines: Crack onset and crack deflection

Romina Lopes Fernandes, Michal K. Budzik, Rinze Benedictus, Sofia Teixeira de Freitas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


This study investigates the fracture onset and crack deflection in multi-material adhesive joints with thick bond-lines (≈10 mm) under global mode I loading. The role of adherend-adhesive modulus-mismatch and pre-crack length are scrutinized. The parameters controlling the crack path directional stability are also discussed. Single-material (i.e. steel-steel and GFRP-GFRP) and bi-material (i.e. steel-GFRP) double-cantilever beam joints bonded with a structural epoxy adhesive are tested. The joints are modelled analytically, considering a beam on elastic-plastic foundation, to include characteristic length scales of the problem (e.g. adhesive thickness, plastic zone) and numerically using Finite Element Model. An empirical relation, in terms of geometrical and material properties of the joints, that defines the transition between non-cohesive and cohesive fracture onset is found. Above a specific pre-crack length the stress singularity at pre-crack tip rules over the stress singularity near bi-material corners, resulting in mid-adhesive thickness cohesive fracture onset. However, the cracking direction rapidly deflects out from the adhesive layer centre-line. Positive T-stress along the crack tip is found to be one of the factors for the unstable crack path.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113687
Number of pages20
JournalComposite Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Fracture onset
  • Mode I
  • Thick bond-line


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