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Increasing the Strength of Adhesively Bonded Joints by Tapering the Adherends

Description: Wind turbine blades are often fabricated with composite materials. These composite blades are frequently attached to a metallic structure with an adhesive bond. For the baseline composite-to-steel joint considered in this study, failure typically occurs when the adhesive debonds from the steel adherend. Previous efforts established that the adhesive peel stresses strongly influence the strength of these joints for both single-cycle and fatigue loading. This study focused on reducing the adhesive peel stresses present in these joints by tapering the steel adherends. Several different tapers were evaluated using finite element analysis before arriving at a final design. To confirm that the selected taper was an improvement to the existing design, the baseline joint and the modified joint were tested in both compression and tension. In these axial tests, the compressive strengths of the joints with tapered adherends were greater than those of the baseline joints for both single-cycle and low-cycle fatigue. In addition, only a minor reduction in tensile strength was observed for the joints with tapered adherends when compared to the baseline joints. Thus, the modification would be expected to enhance the overall performance of this joint.
Date: September 9, 1999
Creator: Guess, Tommy R. & Metzinger, Kurt E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Micromechanical Failure Analyses for Finite Element Polymer Modeling

Description: Polymer stresses around sharp corners and in constrained geometries of encapsulated components can generate cracks leading to system failures. Often, analysts use maximum stresses as a qualitative indicator for evaluating the strength of encapsulated component designs. Although this approach has been useful for making relative comparisons screening prospective design changes, it has not been tied quantitatively to failure. Accurate failure models are needed for analyses to predict whether encapsulated components meet life cycle requirements. With Sandia's recently developed nonlinear viscoelastic polymer models, it has been possible to examine more accurately the local stress-strain distributions in zones of likely failure initiation looking for physically based failure mechanisms and continuum metrics that correlate with the cohesive failure event. This study has identified significant differences between rubbery and glassy failure mechanisms that suggest reasonable alternatives for cohesive failure criteria and metrics. Rubbery failure seems best characterized by the mechanisms of finite extensibility and appears to correlate with maximum strain predictions. Glassy failure, however, seems driven by cavitation and correlates with the maximum hydrostatic tension. Using these metrics, two three-point bending geometries were tested and analyzed under variable loading rates, different temperatures and comparable mesh resolution (i.e., accuracy) to make quantitative failure predictions. The resulting predictions and observations agreed well suggesting the need for additional research. In a separate, additional study, the asymptotically singular stress state found at the tip of a rigid, square inclusion embedded within a thin, linear elastic disk was determined for uniform cooling. The singular stress field is characterized by a single stress intensity factor K{sub a} and the applicable K{sub a} calibration relationship has been determined for both fully bonded and unbended inclusions. A lack of interfacial bonding has a profound effect on inclusion-tip stress fields. A large radial compressive stress is generated in front of the inclusion-tip when ...
Date: November 1, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Investigation of the impact of cleaning on the adhesive bond and the process implications

Description: While surface cleaning is the most common process step in DOE manufacturing operations, the link between a successful adhesive bond and the surface clean performed before adhesion is not well understood. An innovative approach that combines computer modeling expertise, fracture mechanics understanding, and cleaning experience to address how to achieve a good adhesive bond is discussed here to develop a capability that would result in reduced cleaning development time and testing, improved bonds, improved manufacturability, and even an understanding that leads to improved aging. A simulation modeling technique, polymer reference interaction site model applied near wall (Wall PRISM), provided the capability to include contaminants on the surface. Calculations determined an approximately 8% reduction in the work of adhesion for 1% by weight of ethanol contamination on the structure of a silicone adhesive near a surface. The demonstration of repeatable coatings and quantitative analysis of the surface for deposition of controlled amounts of contamination (hexadecane and mineral oil) was based on three deposition methods. The effect of the cleaning process used on interfacial toughness was determined. The measured interfacial toughness of samples with a Brulin cleaned sandblasted aluminum surface was found to be {approximately} 15% greater than that with a TCE cleaned aluminum surface. The sensitivity of measured fracture toughness to various test conditions determined that both interfacial toughness and interface corner toughness depended strongly on surface roughness. The work of adhesion value for silicone/silicone interface was determined by a contact mechanics technique known as the JKR method. Correlation with fracture data has allowed a better understanding between interfacial fracture parameters and surface energy.
Date: May 1, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final report for the designed synthesis of controlled degradative materials LDRD

Description: The main goal of this research was to develop degradable systems either by developing weaklink-containing polymers or identifying commercial polymeric systems which are easily degraded. In both cases, the degradation method involves environmentally friendly chemistries. The weaklinks are easily degradable fragments which are introduced either randomly or regularly in the polymer backbone or as crosslinking sites to make high molecular weight systems via branching. The authors targeted three general application areas: (1) non-lethal deterrents, (2) removable encapsulants, and (3) readily recyclable/environmentally friendly polymers for structural and thin film applications.
Date: February 1, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department