Composite materials are routinely implemented in aerospace structures. The successful binding of the composite parts represents one of the most challenging technical problems in these structures. Methods to improve joint toughness and durability are vital. We focus on the development of techniques to improve joint toughness to improve the overall safety of structures. The techniques include the use of laser ablation and insertion of thermoplastic film in the adhesive bond-line in an attempt to introduce mechanical interlocking featuring interlocking sites. Different surface preparation techniques suitable for composites are explored, and their effect on toughness is measured. We also develop finite element model for simulating ligament formation responsible for extrinsic toughening.
Funding agency: KAUST CRG 2017 (Competitive Research Grant) 2018-2021
Prof. Marco Alfano, Dr Chiara Morano, Dr Arturo Pascuzzo (former member)
Prof. Xuesen Zeng, University of Southern Queensland, Australia