Characterisation of the Fracture Energy and Toughening Mechanisms of a Nano-Toughened Epoxy Adhesive


Article Preview

In this study the adhesive joint fracture behaviour of a nano-toughened epoxy adhesive was investigated. Two experimental test methods were used; (i) the standard tapered double cantilever beam (TDCB) test to measure the mode I adhesive joint fracture energy, GIC, as a function of bond gap thickness and (ii) a circumferentially deep notched tensile test to determine the cohesive strength of the adhesive for a range of constraint levels. It was found that the fracture energy of the adhesive followed the well-known bond gap thickness dependency [1]. SEM analysis of the TDCB fracture surfaces revealed significant plastic void growth. Finally, numerical modelling of the experimental tests suggested that most of the fracture energy was dissipated via highly localised plasticity in the fracture process zone ahead of the crack tip.



Key Engineering Materials (Volumes 488-489)

Edited by:

Z. Tonkovic and Prof. Ferri M.H.Aliabadi




D. Mc Auliffe et al., "Characterisation of the Fracture Energy and Toughening Mechanisms of a Nano-Toughened Epoxy Adhesive", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 488-489, pp. 573-576, 2012

Online since:

September 2011




[1] Hunston, D. L., Kinloch, A. J. and Wang, S. S. (1989) Micromechanics of Fracture in Structural Adhesive Bonds, The Journal ofAdhesion, 28: 2, 103 – 114.

[2] Sultan, J. N., McGarry, F. (1973) Effect of rubber particle size on deformation mechanisms in glassy epoxy, , Polymer Engineering and Science, 13: 1, 29-34.


[3] British Standard Institution. BS 7991 Determination of the mode I adhesive fracture energy, GIC, of structural adhesives using the double cantilever beam (DCB) and tapered double cantilever beam (TDCB) specimens, (2001).