Meso-mechanical modeling and analysis of adhesive layers
This thesis is concerned with the modeling, simulation and analysis of adhesive layers. By use of an in situ scanning electron microscopy study it is found that the adhesive studied in the present thesis has a very complex structure with two different compounds, a mineral and an epoxy/thermoplastic blend. A representative volume element (RVE) model is developed to study the behavior of the adhesive layer at the meso-level. It is a continuum model where interface finite elements are implemented at the boundaries of the continuum elements in order to enable crack initiation and propagation of micro cracks. On a structural level, two deformation modes, modes I and II, dominate the behavior of thin adhesive layers. With the RVE it is possible reproduce experimental stress-deformation relations from both modes. However, in a real structure, mixed mode loading usually occur. A range of mode mixes is studied, using the RVE, from an un-loaded state until fracture of the layer. The results indicate that the behavior of the interface elements dominate for mode mixes close to mode I and plasticity in the continuum elements dominates for mode II dominated mode mixes. Furthermore, effects of large root curvatures of the adherends is analyzed numerically by simulating plastically deforming double cantilever beam specimens using the finite element model. The developed RVE is implemented in the models to simulate the behavior of the adhesive layer. By this methodology, virtual experiments can be analyzed with extreme detail. It is shown that in-plane straining of the adhesive layer significantly influences the strength of adhesive joints at large plastic strain of the adherends. There is a never ending need in industries to minimize computational time. To this end, an interphase finite element for structural analyses is developed. The element considers in-plane straining of the adhesive layer due to large curvatures of surrounding substrates.
Representative Volume Element