Experimental evaluation of mixed-mode fracture in adhesive bonds

Herzl Chai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous tests have shown that the mode II and mode III fracture energies of adhesive bonds coincide, with the nominal value dictated by post-yield shear deformation in the interlayer. This suggests that the complete mixed-mode fracture behavior may be dellineated by determining the interaction curve in either the GI-GII or GI-GIII plane. A DCB-type specimen capable of delivering the entire opening versus shearing toughness spectrum in a single test was used. A brittle and a ductile epoxy resin were evaluated, with the adhesive thickness varying from a few micrometers up to 0.6 mm. Excluding very thin bonds, the mixed-mode fracture curve was approximately bilinear; when the applied energy release rate in shear, Gs, was relatively small, the total fracture energy equaled GIC but otherwise, the fracture curve decreased essentially linearly with increasing GS. In the case of the ductile adhesive, the transition in trends occurred when GS was approximately 55 percent of the shearing fracture energy. When the bond thickness was decreased to a few micrometers, the mixed-mode curve displayed a concave shape, with mode interaction occurring promptly. SEM analysis and analytical considerations suggest that this change in mixed-mode behavior was due to the development of a triaxial state of stress in the interlayer. Based on previous fracture studies of the individual fracture modes in adhesive bonds and laminated composites, the present results should be also applicable to mixed-mode interlaminar fracture of laminated composites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-303
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1992


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