The effect of adhesive thickness on fatigue crack growth in an epoxy film adhesive (FM94) was investigated, using a combination of experiments and numerical modelling. For the range of thicknesses investigated an increased thickness led to an increased crack growth rate. It was found that the energy required per unit of crack growth did not depend on the adhesive thickness. In contrast, the energy available for crack growth does depend on the adhesive thickness. The numerical analysis confirms that the energy required per unit crack growth is not sensitive to the adhesive thickness, but that the plastic energy dissipation increases with the thickness. The experimental results imply that this increase of plasticity has an anti-shielding effect, as the crack growth rate is increased.
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- Adhesive bonding
- Fatigue crack growth
- Strain energy
- Thickness effect