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Strength and Performance Enhancement of Bonded Joints by Spatial Tailoring of Adhesive Compliance via 3D Printing

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posted on 14.12.2016, 00:00 by S. Kumar, Brian L. Wardle, Muhamad F. Arif
Adhesive bonding continues to emerge as a preferred route for joining materials with broad applications including advanced structures, microelectronics, biomedical systems, and consumer goods. Here, we study the mechanics of deformation and failure of tensile-loaded single-lap joints with a compliance-tailored adhesive. Tailoring of the adhesive compliance redistributes stresses and strains to reduce both shear and peel concentrations at the ends of the adhesive that determine failure of the joint. Utilizing 3D printing, the modulus of the adhesive is spatially varied along the bondlength. Experimental strength testing, including optical strain mapping, reveals that the strain redistribution results in a greater than 100% increase in strength and toughness concomitant with a 50% increase in strain-to-break while maintaining joint stiffness. The tailoring demonstrated here is immediately realizable in a broad array of 3D printing applications, and the level of performance enhancement suggests that compliance tailoring of the adhesive is a generalizable route for achieving superior performance of joints in other applications, such as advanced structural composites.