To improve damage tolerance performance, GLARE was used as bonded crack retarders in this paper. Fatigue tests were run with unbonded and bonded samples; then test results between them was compared. Thermal residual stresses had been studied. It was found that bonded crack retarders can improve damage tolerance performance and capability. Thermal residual stresses have a detrimental effect on the fatigue crack growth rates by means of increasing the effective R-ratio applied on the aluminium substrate. Finite element analysis was carried out and the result was in good agreement with the experimental data.