Effect of bond thickness on fracture behaviour in adhesive joints

C. Yan, Y. W. Mai, L. Ye

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


To study the effects of bond thickness on the fracture behaviour of adhesive joints, experimental investigation and finite element analysis have been carried out for compact tension (CT) and double-cantilever-beam (DCB) specimens with different bond thickness. Fractography and fracture toughness exhibited apparent variations with bond thickness. Numerical results indicate that the crack tip stress fields are affected by bond thickness due to the restriction of plastic deformation by the adherends. At the same J level, a higher opening stress was observed in the joint with a smaller bond thickness (h). Beyond the crack tip region, a self-similar stress field can be described by the normalized loading parameter, J/hσo. The relationship between J and crack tip opening displacement, δ, is dependent on the bond thickness. The strong dependence of toughness upon bond thickness is a result of the competition between two different fracture mechanisms. For small bond thickness, toughness is linearly proportional to bond thickness due to the high constraint. After reaching a critical bond thickness, the toughness decreases with further increase of bond thickness due to the rapid opening (blunting) of the crack tip with loading. A simple model has been proposed to predict the variation of toughness with bond thickness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-44
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Adhesion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Adhesive joint
  • Bond thickness
  • Constraint
  • Finite element analysis
  • Fractography
  • Fracture mechanism
  • J-integral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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