Title page for ETD etd-06302007-211937

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Pohlit, David Joseph
Author's Email Address dpohlit@vt.edu
URN etd-06302007-211937
Title Dynamic Mixed-Mode Fracture of Bonded Composite Joints for Automotive Crashworthiness
Degree Master of Science
Department Engineering Science and Mechanics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dillard, David A. Committee Chair
Case, Scott W. Committee Member
Kapania, Rakesh K. Committee Member
Starbuck, J. Michael Committee Member
  • Viscoelastic
  • Driven Wedge
  • Compact Tension
  • Stick-Slip
  • Adhesive Joint
  • Composite
  • Beam Theory
  • Mode III
  • Fracture Envelope
  • Fracture
  • Strain Energy Release Rate
  • Impact
  • Mode I
  • Mixed-Mode I/II
  • Mode II
Date of Defense 2007-06-15
Availability unrestricted
An experimental evaluation of the mixed-mode fracture behavior of bonded composite joints is presented. Commonly used experimental techniques for characterizing the mode I, mixed-mode I/II, mode II, and mode III fracture behavior have been employed for the purpose of developing a fracture envelope to be utilized in the automotive design process. These techniques make use of such test geometries as the double cantilever beam (DCB), asymmetric double cantilever beam (ADCB), single-leg bend (SLB), end-loaded split (ELS), and split cantilever beam (SCB) specimens. Symmetric versions of the DCB, SLB, and ELS specimens produced mode mixities of 0°, 41°, and 90° respectively, while the testing of ADCB specimens allowed for mode mixities of 18°, 31°.

Pronounced stick-slip behavior was observed for all specimen test geometries under both quasi-static and dynamic loading conditions. Due to the nature of the adhesive studied, a limited number of data points were obtained under mode I loading conditions. A significant increase in the number of measurable crack initiation events was observed for mixed-mode I/II loading conditions, where stick slip behavior was less pronounced. Additionally, a comparison of the measured fracture energies obtained under mixed-mode I/II loading conditions reveals that the addition of a small mode II component results in a decrease in the mode I fracture energy by roughly 50%, as the crack was driven to the interface between the adhesive layer and composite adherends. Furthermore, the propensity of debonds to propagate into the woven composite laminate adherends under mode II loading conditions limited the number of crack initiation points that could be obtained to one or two usable data points per specimen. A limited number of experimental tests using the SCB specimen for mode III fracture characterization, combined with a numerical analysis via finite element analysis, revealed a significant mode II contribution toward the specimen edges. Similarly, FE analyses on full bond width and half bond width SCB specimens was conducted, and results indicate that by inducing a bond width reduction of 50%, the mode II contribution is greatly decreased across the entire width of the specified crack front.

To provide a means for comparison to results obtained using the standard DCB specimen, an alternative driven wedge test specimen geometry was analyzed, as this geometry provided a significant increase in the number of measurable data points under mode I loading conditions. A three-dimensional finite element analysis was conducted to establish ratios of simple beam theory results to those obtained via FEA, GSBT/GFEA, were of particular interest, as these ratios were used to establish correction factors corresponding to specific crack lengths to be used in correcting results obtained from an experimental study utilizing a driven wedge technique. Corrected results show good agreement with results obtained from traditional mode I double cantilever beam tests.

Finally, bulk adhesive experiments were conducted on compact tension specimens to establish a correlation between adhesively bonded composite joint and bulk adhesive fracture behavior under mode I loading conditions. Measured fracture energy values were shown to gradually drop across a range of applied loading rates, similar to the rate-dependent behavior observed with both the DCB and driven wedge specimens. Application of the time-temperature superposition principle was explored to determine whether or not such techniques were suitable for predicting the fracture behavior of the adhesive studied herein. Good correlation was established between the fracture energy values measured and the value of tan d obtained from dynamic mechanical analysis tests conducted at corresponding reduced test rates.

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