An experimental analysis of the fracture behavior of composite bonded joints in terms of cohesive laws

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Modeling adhesive joints by means of cohesive models relies on the definition of cohesive laws. Although cohesive laws are known to be dependent on the loading mode, there is a lack of experimental evidences to describe this dependence. At the same time, the adherend and adhesive thicknesses are known to affect the fracture toughness of the bond, but their effect on the cohesive law has not been clarified. In this work, an experimental characterization of an epoxy adhesive is presented. The effect that the mode mixity has on the bond toughness and its cohesive law is compared against the effect of the adhesive and adherend thicknesses. The impact of these two latest parameters is shown to be minor if compared to the influence of the mode mixity, which mainly defines the cohesive law shape. Finally, the implications of these experimental findings on the numerical simulation of adhesive joints are discussed ​
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