Dependency of cohesive laws of a structural adhesive in Mode-I and Mode-II loading on moisture, freeze-thaw cycling, and their synergy
Journal article, 2017

In recent years, adhesive bonding has found its way to construction applications such as bridges. Given the harsh conditions that such structures are usually exposed to, it is necessary to account for environmental factors, particularly moisture and temperature, in the design phase. Cohesive zone modelling has attracted much attention in the last decade as a promising method to design adhesive joints. Despite this interest, the effects of moisture and thermal cycles on cohesive laws have not been investigated to the knowledge of the authors. In this paper, we present a method to directly measure the environmental-dependent cohesive laws of a structural adhesive loaded in pure Mode-I and Mode-II. Special consideration is given to overcome issues such as the time-consuming nature of moisture ingression and specimen dimensions, which could be problematic due to the size-limitations of conditioning equipment. The accuracy of this method was verified through simulation of the experiments using the finite element analysis. The effects of exposure to 95% relative humidity, immersion in saltwater and distilled water, and freeze-thaw cycles in the presence or absence of moisture were investigated. The results indicate the damaging effects of combined saltwater and freeze-thaw cycles which were clearly reflected on the shape of the cohesive laws.

Cohesive laws

Fracture mechanics

Adhesive joints





Mohsen Heshmati

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering

Reza Haghani Dogaheh

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering

Mohammad Al-Emrani

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering

Materials and Design

0264-1275 (ISSN)

Vol. 122 433-447

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Aerospace Engineering

Applied Mechanics

Infrastructure Engineering

Polymer Technologies

Reliability and Maintenance

Other Materials Engineering

Vehicle Engineering

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance


Building Futures (2010-2018)

Materials Science



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